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- _ _ 5, "^-._ -^ _^. ,- . , ^ ,_'^_^__ __t<kA 






DECEMBER, 1926, TO MAY, 1927 



Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd .1 Frome and London 

®® INDEX. @@@^.' 


u n. -r c PAGE 

AND Love is Still the Lord of All!" Illustrated by Henry Collar . Mrs. Belloc Loiondes 131 

Angora Wool Farming in England. Illustrated from photographs . . Meredith Fradd 527 

Aunt Loses. Illustrated by A. Wallis Mills Anthony Hope 21 

Bailey, F. G. " Mammoth Lumber Fields : The National Forests of Manzano, White Mountain, 

San Isabel, Holy Cross, Pisgah, Pike, White River and Chelan " 639 

Baker, Elizabeth. "The Girl from Home" » • . . ] 195 

Batten, H. Mortimer. " To Sink or Swim " . , . „ , . , \ !612 

Benson, E. F. " Dicky's Pain " . ] [ ! 467 

» 9, " When Greek meets Greek " . . . . , . . . . ! 96 

Between the Clees. Illustrated by Stanley Lloyd . . . Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler 181 

Bird op Destiny, The. Illustrated by Frank Gillett .... Oliver Madox Hueffer 220 

Blandness of Uncle Bill, The. Illustrated by P. B. Hickling . . . Victor MacClure 331 

BowEN, Marjorie. " Peach-Coloured Plumes " 619 

j» >, " There Are More Things ..." . . . . , . . . 153 

Bravest of the Brave, The. With two photographs Bosita Forbes 475 

Breaking Point. Illustrated by John Campbell J, C, Howard 318 

Bridal Veil Falls and Spouting Rock, near Hanging Lake, in the White River National 

Forest, Colorado .............. 530 

" Bridoon." " Roddy Vereker's Lesson ".....,..., 439 

Browne, K. R. G. "An Envoy Extraordinary" [ 482 

BuRRAGE, A. M. "The Lady with the Portrait" . . . . . . . [ ] 311 

Busman's Holiday, A. Illustrated by J. Dewar Mills Owen Oliver 278 

Campbell, Reginald. " In the Teak Forest " . 210 

Casserly, Lieut.-Colonel Gordon. "A Knight of the Wild" ! 174 

» tf „ " His Highness's Hunter " . . . . , .61 

„ „ „ " The Queen-Mother " 423 

Castle Mummers, The. Illustrated by Henry CoUer .... Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 581 

Catherine Ruby, The. Illustrated by Henry Coller . , . . 3Irs. Belloc Lowndes 499 

Champneys, Harold. " Millfield — Eighteen " 405 

Charteris, Leslie. " The Red River " , , . . ] .' 651 

Chink in the Doorway, The. Illustrated by Norah Schlegel . . Ethel M, JRadbourne 366 

Cleaver, Hylton. " The Thing that Mattered " 669 

Close op a Windy Day, The 236 

Commander Dumphry and the Monumento Trap. Illustrated by Will Lendon Barry Pain 187 

Court Cards. Illustrated by Albert Bailey . , . . . . . Dornford Yates 16 

Delapield, E. M. " Devoted Cousin Winnie " . . . , 285 

Devoted Cousin Winnie. Illustrated by Howard K. Elcock . . . , E, M, Delafield 285 

Dicky's Pain. Illustrated by Wilmot Lunt E. F. Benson 467 

Duchess-Complex, The. Illustrated by Henry Coller .... Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 373 

DuDENEY, Mrs. Henry. " Plain SaiUng " . 85 

Durand, Ralph. " The Man Who Was Plucked " 394 

" The Right Kind of Man " . . . . ' 488 

„ ,> "Winning the Wanazoa " ....„,...,' 5t5 

Editor's Scrap-Book, The 109,229,343,456,573,686 

Envoy Extraordinary, An. Illustrated by Norah Schlegel . . . K. R. G. Browne 482 
Extraordinary Adventures of Robert Heywood, The. Illustrated by Gilbert HoHday 

AHhur Mills 163 

iv INDEX, 


Forbes, Rosita. " The Bravest of the Brave " o . 475 

Four-Sided Triangle, The. Illustrated by Charles Crombie . . , Nellie Tom-Gallon 299 
Fowler, Ellen Thorneycroft. " Between the Glees " . . „ , . . . .181 

» „ „ *' The Mcllvary " ........ 69 

Fradd, Meredith. " Angora Wool Farming in England " . . . . . . .527 

Frampton, H. F. "An Urgent Appointment" . .414 

Frontispieces. " A View from Hambledon Hill "......... 466 

„ "A Winter Scene in London : A Frost and Snow Effect in the Dell, Hyde Park " 2 

99 " Bridal Veil Falls and Spouting Rock, near Hanging Lake, in the White River 

National Forest, Colorado " . . . . . , . . . 580 

"Ploughing" . , , ... 350 

„ " The Close of a Windy Day " . 236 

yj "The Snow" ........ Lucien Simonnet 116 

Girl from Home, The. Illustrated by J. R. Skelton ..... ElizalMh Baker 195 

His Highness's Hunter. Illustrated by Warwick Reynolds . Lieut. -Colonel Gordon Casserly 61 
Hodgson, John Ernest, F.R.G.S. " The Romance of Turpentine : The British Empire's Share in 

the World's Supply " 294 

Holst, Gustav, and His Music : A Personal Study of the Composer of " The Planets." With a 

portrait Watson Lyle 125 

Homes of Rugby Football, The. Illustrated from photographs . . Leonard E. Tosswill 249 
Hope, Anthony. " Aunt Loses " . . . . . . . , . . . .27 

Howard, J. C. "Breaking Point" . . . . , . , . ,. . .318 

How Mr. Dumphry Built a House. Illustrated by Will Lendon . . . Barry Pain 270 

Hoys, Dudley. " The Man Who Stood Aside " , . . . 431 

„ „ " The Warning " ,565 

Hueffer, Oliver Madox. " Old Bouquin ".......... 628 

„ „ „ " The Bird of Destiny " 220 

Ik the Teak Forest. Illustrated by J. R. Skelton . . . „ Reginald Campbell 210 

Jeritza^ Maria. *' Musings, Operatic and Otherwise" . , , . ^ . , .11 

Kent, Michael. *' Players of the Game "........,, 144 

Knight of the Wild, A. Illustrated by Warwick Reynolds . Lieut. -Colonel Gordon Casserly 174 

Lady with the Portrait, The. Illustrated by Norah Schlegel . . . A. M. Burrage 311 

Latta, Gordon. " Two Into One "..,.....,... 557 
Lowndes, Mrs. Belloc. " And Love is Still the Lord of All ! " . . . . . .131 

" Mrs. Parsleet " 237 

"The Castle Mummers". , 581 

" The Catherine Ruby " . . . . , \ . . . 490 

" The Duchess-Comptex " ........ 373 

" Their Christmas Quarrel " . . . . . . . .41 

Luck of the Game, The. Illustrated by Gilbert Holiday . . . Frederick Watson 670 
Lyle, Watson. "Gustav Hoist and His Music: A Personal Study of the Composer of * The 

Planets ' " . 125 

„ „ " Pouishnoff : A Personal Study of the Great Russian Pianist " . . . 361 

„ „ " Vaughan Williams and the Music of Enghsh Life " . , . . . 607 

MacClure, Victor. " The Blandness of Uncle Bill " • . 331 

Madness from the Sky : A Story of the Pampas. Illustrated by W. R. S. Stott 

H. de Vere Btacpoole 351 

Make-Believe. Illustrated by Stanley Lloyd. , . . . . E. Temple Thurston 77 
Mammoth Lumber Fields : The National Forests of Manzano, White Mountain, San Isabel, Holy 

Cross, Pisgah, Pike, White River and Chelan. Illustrated from photographs . F. G. Bailey 639 

Man of Peace, A. Illustrated by P. B. Hickling ...... Alec Waugh 31 

Dudley Hoys 431 

. Ralph Durand 394 

Stephen McKenna 3 

Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler 69 

. « . 3 

Harold Champneys 405 

Man Who Stood Aside, The. Illustrated by Stanley Lloyd . 

Man Who Was Plucked, The. Illustrated by Charles Crombie 

Marston Dale Mystery, The. Illustrated by E. G. Oakdale 

McIlvary, The. Illustrated by W. R. S. Stott 

McKenna, Stephen. " The Marston Dale Mystery " 

" MiLLFiELD — Eighteen." Illustrated by John Campbell 

Mills, Arthur. " The Extraordinary Adventures of Robert Hey wood " . . . , .163 

Mr. Dumphry Plays the Endless Game. Illustrated by Will Lendon . . Barry Pain 448 

Mr. Dumphry's Secret Mission. Illustrated by Will Lendon . . , Barry Pain 51 

Mrs. Parsleet. Illustrated by Henry CoUer ...... Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 237 

Mr. Sturge, Mr, Copshaw, and Mr. Dumphry's Boots. Illustrated by Will Lendon Barry Pain 678 
Musings, Operatic and Otherwise. With two portraits .... Maria Jeritza II 

Newton, Douglas. *' Something Calling ". , • ,, • « » „ . 634 


Newton Douglas. " The Witch's Hat " 

Nichols, Wallace B. " When We Practise to Deceive ' 



Old Bouqxtin. 
Oliver, Owen. 

Pain, Barry. 

Illustrated by Frank Gillett Oliver Madox Hueffer 628 

" A Busman's Holiday "..•....... 278 

" A Sentimental Christmas " , , . , . . , , .101 

" Commander Dumphry and the Monumento Trap " . . . , .187 

" How Mr. Dumphry Built a House "........ 270 

" Mr. Dumphry Plays the Endless Game ".....,. 448 

" Mr. Dumphry's Secret Mission "......... 51 

" Mr. Sturge, Mr. Copshaw, and Mr. Dumphry's Boots " . . . . . 678 

" That Gambler Dumphry " 519 

Peach-Coloured Plumes. Illustrated by P. B. Hickling .... Marjorie Bowen 619 

Plain Sailing. Illustrated by Francis E. Hiley ..... Ilrs. Henry Dudeney 85 

Players of the Game. Illustrated by Charles Crombie . . . . Michael Kent 144 

Ploughing 350 

Psychological Fish, The. Illustrated by J. H. Thorpe . . . . Alan Sullivan 511 

PouiSHNOFF : A Personal Study of the Great Russian Pianist. With a portrait Watson Lyle 361 

Queen-Mother, The. Illustrated by Warwick Reynolds. 

Lieut. -Colonel Gordon Casserly 423 

Leslie Charteris 

Radbourne, Ethel M. " The Chink in the Doorway " . 

Red River, The. Illustrated by Howard K. Elcock 

Ridge, W. Pett. " Their Busy Evening " . . . . 

Right Kind of Man, The. Illustrated by Charles Crombie . 

Roddy Vereker's Lesson. Illustrated by Gilbert Holiday 

Romance of Turpentine, The : The British Empire's Share in the World's Supply 

John Ernest Hodgson, F.R.G.S. 

Ralph Durand 
" Bridoon " 




Owen Oliver 
H. de Vere Stacpoole 

Sentimental Christmas, A. Illustrated by P. B. HickHng 
Signed and Witnessed. Illustrated by W. R. S. Stott. 
SiMONNET, LuciEN. " The Snow " ...... 

Snow, The ............. Lucien Simonnet 

Something Calling. Illustrated by J. R. Skelton ...... Douglas Newton 

Stacpoole, H. de Vere. "Madness from the Sky: A Story of the Pampas" 

„ „ „ " Signed and Witnessed "......., 

Sullivan, Alan. "The Psychological Fish". ......... 511 

Sweep, The : A Story of the Grand National . .... Frederick Watson 547 

101 ' 







That Gambler Dumphry. Illustrated by Will Lendon ..... Barry Pain 519 

Their Busy Evening. Illustrated by Bertram Prance . . . . , W. Pett Ridge 326 

Their Christmas Quarrel. Illustrated by Frank Wiles. . . . Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 41 

" There are More Things ..." Illustrated by Henry CoUer . , . Marjorie Bowen 153 

Thing that Mattered, The. Illustrated by W. R. S. Stott .... Hylton Cleaver 659 
Thurston, E. Temple. " Make-Believe " . . . . . . . . . ,11 

Tom-Gallon, Nellie. " The Four-Sided Triangle " 299 

To Sink or Swim. Illustrated by Francis E. Hiley . . . . H. Mortimer Batten 612 

TosswiLL, Leonard R. " The Homes of Rugby Football "..,.... 249 

Two Into One. Illustrated by Lindsay Cable ...... Gordon Latta 557 

Urgent Appointment, An. Illustrated by A. Wallis Mills . . . H. F. Frampton 414 

Verse. " All Roads in England " . . . May Byron 330 

"All the Flowers" ........ Agnes Grozier Herhertson 611 

*'Any New Year" .......... Eric Chilman 180 

"April" L, G. Moberly 546 

" Bitter Wind, The " ....... Agnes Grozier Herhertson 258 

" Blackbird Close, The " A. Newberry Choyce 650 

" Blackthorn " . . . . . . . . . Agnes Grozier Herhertson 393 

" Bravery Town " Wilfrid Thorley 594 

" Christine Rhapsodises " . George Hawker 578 

" Christmas Fir, The "........ Alice E. Gillington 60 

" Christmas Tree, The " Wilfrid Thorley 84 

*' Coming Storm " Dorothy Rogers 284 

" Co vent Garden " * . . . Claudine Currey 638 

"December" L. G. Moberly 10 

" Easter Evening " . Grace Noll Crowell 533 

"February" L. G. Moberly 293 

" Ferly-Fair " Alice E. Gillington 438 

" First Step, The " ^- Hodgkinson 345 

" Freed " . . • . . • • . • • • Margaret Widdemer 95 



Verse . " Green Birch-Broom, The ' 

" Guest- Chamber, A ' 

" Hymn in Darkness 

" Improvements " 

*' January " 

" Jimmy Hedgehog " 

" March " 

" March Hares " 

" Match, The " 

" May " . 

" Metamorphosis " 

" Most Important " 

" Old Nurseryman to the Ghost of a Christmas Rose, An 

" Petition " 

" Pictures in the Fire " 

" Plucking Geese in Scotland " 

" Poet Perplexed, The " . 

*' Prayer for Old Age " 

" Promise " 

"Recipe for a Happy Christmas 

" Ship and a House, A " 

*' Shooting Star, The " 

" Silver Morn ". 

" Song in Winter, A " 

" Spring " 

*' Spring Comes Singing " 

" Spring Song, A " . 

" Springtime " . 

" Time of Lambs " . 

" Under the Eaves " 

" Winter Supplication " 

*' Winter Wind, The" 
View fkom Hambledon Hill, A 

Warning, The. Illustrated by J. Dewar Mills 

Watson, Frederick. " The Sweep : A Story of the Grand National 

„ »9 " The Luck of the Game " 

Waugh, Alec. "A Man of Peace" 

When Greek meets Greek. Illustrated by J. H. Thorpe 
When we Practise to Deceive. Illustrated by Albert Bailey 
Williams, Vaughan, and the Music of English Life. With a portrait 
Winning the Wanazoa. Illustrated by Charles Crombie 

Winter Scene in London, A : A Frost and Snow Effect in the Dell, Hyde Park 
Witch's Hat, The. Illustrated by Steven Spurrier 

Yates, Dornford. " Court Cards " . • , 


Alice E. Gillington 686 

Fay Inchfawn 474 

. Richard Church 194 

G. Sylvia Chapman 173 

. L. G. Moberly 143 

C. Kennett Burrow 692 

. L, G. Moberly 384 

. R. H. Roberts 461 

. John R. Wilson 234 

. L. G. Moberly 618 

May Byron 68 

. Joe Walker 

Fay Inchfawn 

A. Newberry Choyce 

Bower Mason 

Dorothy Dickinson 

Dorothy Frances Gurney 

Grace Noll Crowell 

. Brian Hill 

. Leslie M, Oyler 

. Brian Hill 

, Eleanor Renard 

Agnes Grozier Herbertson 

. Claudine Currey 

. E. W. Hendy 

E. B. W. Chappelow 

Agnes Grozier Herbertson 

Kathleen M. M. Fordham 

A Newberry Choyce 

Dorothy Dickinson 

A. Newberry Choyce 

Percy Haselden 

Dudley Hoys 

E. F. Benson 

Wallace B. Nichols 

Watson Lyle 

Ralph Durand 

Douglas Newton 

















^he Minbsot ^acjastne. 

No. 384. 


All rights reserved. 



llliifif rated by E. G. Oakdale. 



With two Port rait. 'i. 


Illmtrnted by Albert Bailey. 


Illmtrated by A. Wallia Milh. 



Illmtrated by P. li. Ilickling. 



Illustrated by Frank Wiles. 



Illtfstrated by Will Lend on. 



Stephen McKenna 3 

l. q. moberly 10 

Maria Jeritza |1I 

DoRNFORD Yates 16 

Anthony Hope 27 

A. Newberry Choyce 30 
Alec Wauqh 31 

Dorothy Frances Gurney 40 

Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 41 

Fay Inchpawn 50 

Barry Pain 51 

[Continued on next page. 

cosy, clean and comfortable 

for Ladies' Pyjamas, Princess Slips, 
Dainty Lingerie, etc. "Luvisca** will 
stand constant wear and washing, and 
still retain its original silky sheen. 
(37-38 ins. wide), in latest shades and colourings — 
Striped Designs — Plain Shades — and Self G)loured 
Check effects. Also "LUVISCA" Garments 
^ready-to-wear in newest styles and designs. 

// any difficulty in obtaining, please write the ManU' 
facturers, COURT AULDS. LTD. (Dept. 110). 19, 
Alder manbury, London, E.C.2, for name of the nearest 
" ■ and illustrated Booklet. 



CONTENTS— con^/niiei. 



Illustrated by Warwick lieynolds. 



lUmirated by W. R. S. Stott. 



lUmtrated by Stanley Lloyd. 



lUmtrated by Francis E. Uiley. 



llluitrated by J. //. Thorpe. 


llluitrated by P. Ji. HicMing. 



A Question of Capacity 

A Busy Week 

The House Next Door 

Recipe for a Happy Christ^ias 

A Christmas Homecoming 

" A Merry Christm-\s ! " 

Very Remiss 

Putting up the Christmas Decorations 


Alice E. Gillii^gton 60 

LiETjT. -Colonel Gordon Casserly 61 

May Byron 68 

... Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler 69 

Percy Haselden 76 

E. Temple Thurston 77 

... Wilfrid Thorley 


Mrs. Henry Dudeney 


Margaret Widdemer 


E. F. Benson 


Owen Oliver 


Dorothy Dickinson 


,,. ,,. ,,, 


Norman Pett 




Stan Terry 


... Leslie M. Oyler 


T. Hodgkinson 


W. Lindsay Cable 


Frank Ford 


Leslie P. Marchant 


[Continued on page xxxviii. 

MAKE your plum puddings and mincemeat with ''Atora," 
the good Beef Suet. Then the Christmas Fare will be 
rich, wholesome and easily digested. 

The best of recipes for each of these, together with nearly 
loo other tested recipes for fine puddings and pies, is given in 
the "Atora'* Cookery Book. Send a postcard to us to-day for 
a free copy. 

"Atora** is ready - shredded for use; it CONTAINS NO 
PRESERVATIVE and is always fresh and sweet. 

Husron's Beef Suet. 
Reef Drippiner. and 
Pure Lard ai-e speci- 
ally paicked in 1-lb. 
and 2-1 b. decorated 
tins for export. If 
any difl^culty in ob- 
. taininj?, please send 
' name and ad<lreas of 
your Storekeeper. 



In small pkts., and 4-02., 8-oz. and 16-oz. cartons. 

HUGON & CO., Ltd., 115 Openshaw. Manchester, 









A true Palliative in NEURALGIA, GOUT, 

Cut short attacks of 




Acts like a charm in 



and other bowel 


Always ask for a ''Dr. COLLIS BROWNE" 

0/ all Chemists. 1/3 and 3 /* 


f^ A^ will enable the Church 
JJ% "^ Army to arrange for 
^•^^ you a happy, helpful 

Christmas Dinner Party for 

6o old folk or poor children. 
But any smaller sum will be 

gratefully received by Preh. 

Carlile, C.H., D.D., Hon. 

Chief Secretary, 








and are delicious. 

Consumers may take it that sellers who avoid 
the use of the word •' Sardines " in the descrip- 
tion of their goods are offering a substitute, of 
which there are many. France and Portugal 
are practically the Only Two 
Countries from which real Sar- 
dines are received. 

|>:^ IL THE. 



The First Dance ob' the Season 

Most Important ... ... ... 

The Gift of Tongues 

How Man V Needed ? ' 

To My Dog, Who has just Bitten a Neighbour 

The Surprise 

Mrs. Perkins on the Model Husband 


F. C. Boyle 114 
Joe Walker 114 
Herbert Hamelin 
... A. R. Cane 
. C. Denison Smith 
Rick Elmes 
- R. H. Roberts 
. Edgar Spenceley 

YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION of "The Windsor Magazine^' post free to any part of the world, 15s. 
At reduced postage rate to Canada, 13s. 6d. 

Binding Cases for half-yearly volumes, with the *' Windsor " design, can be obtained through any 
bookseller at Is. 6d. 

Entered as Second-Class Matter at the New York, N,Y., Post Office, 31 ay llth, 1903. 
Registered at the G.P.O. for transmission by the Canadian Magazine Post, 

Many of the original drawings, from which the illustrations in the following pages are reproduced, are for sale. 

Terms on application. 

[All MSS. (which should be typewritten) and Drawings submitted must bear the names and addresses of the 
senders and be accompanied by a stumped addressed envelope or stamps ; otherwise they will not be considered. The 
EUtor does not hold himself responsible for the safety of any contributions forwarded for his inspection. AU com- 
munications must be addressed, " The Editor, ' The Windsor Magazine,^ Warwick House, Salisbury Square, J£'.C4.'*]- 




THE "CHALLENGE" (Patent No. 22642/12). 

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years by arrangement at an additional charge of 5 per cent., 7i per cent, or 10 per cent. SPECIFICATION. — Superior make, 
superbly polished, fitted thick slate beds, best low and fast cushions ^-^-"^ built up strip), and covered with a superfine cloth. 

ACCESSORIES include 4 Cues. Rest. Mark- 
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Bedtime comes all too quickly for children, but 
even bedtime is welcome when there is delicious 
"Ovaltine" as their "good-night" beverage. 

They have been so busy during the day — at school 
and at play — using up energy at such a rapid rate. 
While they sleep Nature restocks the little bodies 
with new energies for the coming day. 

But Nature needs material with which to rebuild 
and restore. Only from nourishment can that 
restorative material* be obtained and only from 
" Ovaltine " can it be obtained in sufficient quan- 
tities for replacing lost energy and for creating 
reserves of health and strength. 

Made from malt, milk, eggs and cocoa " Ovaltine " 
contains all the nutritive elements correctly balanced 
and also all the vitamins in correct proportions. It 
is digested with ease and aids the digestion of several 
times its own weight of ordinary food. 
During the growing years of childhood more nour- 
ishment is necessary than ordinary food supplies. 
That is why "Ovaltine" should not only be the 
bedtime beverage but also the beverage at every meal. 
This delicious beverage builds up sturdy bodies, 
sound nerves and alert minds. "Ovaltine" chil- 
dren have cheeks which glow with glorious health. 
They will grow up to vigorous manhood and woman- 

Sold in tins 

at 1/6, 2/6 

and 4/6. 

0wttds-iApBr«%i«»Tlerve e^nd&ad]4 

The larger sized 
tins are the 

more eccnomical 
to purchase, 

P. 389. 





i k 

mm IB 

Giro Pearl Necklet 16 ins. long £110 
Longer necklets at proportionate 

Facing tack of Flate.] 

The gift you should choose is the one she 
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Giro Pearls possess all the attributes an ideal 
Christmas gift should have, and a woman's 
ga2:e of admiration always lingers on their 
lasting loveliness, reproducing in every detail 
the wondrous glint of the real Oriental pearl. 
Only at our own showrooms can you obtain 
Giro Pearls - the desired gift for Christmas, 

No 22 Single Giro Pearl 

Ring, gold mounting. 

£1 1 

No 23. Gold cross-over 

Ring set with Giro Pearls, 

gold mounting. 

£1 1 

No. 24. Shamrock Ring 

with three Giro Pearls, 

gold mounting. 

£1 1 

Gharming Giro Pearl Earrings for pierced or unpierced ears. All £110 per pair. 
Write for Illustrated Booklet No. 10 of Giro Pearl Gifts post free. 


i 178 Regent St., W. 
i^lS Old Bond St., W. 
:I20 Che.ipside, E.G. 


: 14 St. Ann's Square 

: 25 Church Street 


I 121 New Street 


1 95 Buchanan Street 


On receipt cf One Guinea (or 
C.O.D.) we will send you a necklet 
of Ciro Pearls, 16 ins. long, with 
gold clasD, or any of the above 
Ciro Pearl Jewels in case, post free. 
Wear for a fortnight and compare 
with any real pearls. If you can 
detect any difference, return to 
us and we will refund your money 
in full. 

I And our own Show-i 

rooms at 


J e n n e r s 


S w i t z e r s 


•James Coxon & Co., 


F. Taylor & Son, 
jLtd., College Green 



CO ^ 









^UR trouble," explained Miles Ford- 
ham, " is that we have no ghost 
at the Manor." 

" Though I doubt whether twenty would 
really add to the difficulties of this party 
. . .," sighed his wife. 

" Your difficulties," I warned her, " will 
only begin when Eobert Brunn enters this 

Bertie Fordham returned from the library 
with Who's Who In Art and Letters. 

" His title is genuine enough," he assured 
us. " And he belongs to a decent club. 
' Publications : The Haunted Houses of 
Devonshire ; Spells and Curses ; The Troft 
Castle Mystery '. What does Grainger say 
about him, father ? " 

Still irresolute, Miles handed over the 
letter in which his friend and neighbour, 
John Grainger of Belmar Castle, commended 
to the hospitality of Fordham Manor Sir 
Robert Brunn, Baronet, who was touring 
Marston Dale in search of material for The 
Haunted Houses of Cumberland. Sir Robert 
had come to Belmar to investigate the cele- 
brated Grey Nun and was proceeding to 
Otwell, where he would enquire into the 
Otwell riderless horse. 

" / was not aware,'' Grainger concluded, 
'' that Fordham Manor was supposed to be 
haunted, but Sir Robert assures me it is. 
' The limping Roundhead ' he calls your visit- 
ant. Since his really remarkable discoveries 
at Cuttle Sands and Heaton Grange, I hesitate 
to say that anything is impossible.'* 

" I, on the other hand," I put in, " do 
not hesitate to say that Grainger is unload- 
ing Brunn on you as he has already unloaded 
your friend the profiteer from Manchester." 

Copyright, 1920, by Stephen McKenna 

" I have told you Ramsden is not a friend 
of mine," Miles answered. " He's looking 
for a place in this part of the country. And 
the least I could do was to put him up." 

His studied calm warned me to cease 
criticizing the house-party. At the moment 
we were delivered from Mr. Ramsden, who 
was scouring Marston Dale to find a house 
where, in Bertie Fordham's phrase, he could 
graft his unprepossessing family on some 
one else's tree and succeed by right of pur- 
chase to some one else's hatchment, vault 
and portraits. Since the decay of the min? 
ing industry in Marston, it was only a ques-r 
tion of time how long Miles Fordham and 
his neighbours could keep their places in 
commission. It was only a question of 
money which of them would sell to the 
Manchester towel-king. 

" Sir Robert might help with Mrs. Rams- 
den and the girls," suggested Mrs. Fordham. 

I doubted whether even Brunn's loquacity 
would drown Mrs. Ramsden's dreary con- 
fidences about the dishonesty of her ser- 
vants ; I was sure it would not prevail 
against her daughters' practice of retailing 
the compliments wrung from their admirers 
in. Manchester. 

" If he's writing a book on Cumberland 
. . .," Miles began again, with his incurable 
hospitality. " Just one night ... I could 
send a car to fetch him." 

" You may find it easier to get him here 
than to get him away," I murmured. 
*' Ramsden came for one night." 

Then the door opened to admit Mr. Rams- 
den's wife and daughters. Mrs. Fordham 
explained that an addition to our party was 
expected ; and Miles added that Sir Robert 

Ute United Slates of America, 


Brunn wished to enquire into the alleged 
" limping Roundhead of Fordham." 

" A ghost ? " cried Mrs. Ramsden, with 
the shudder usually reserved for vermin. 
" Horrid things ! " 

" I always say, I don't believe in ghosts, 
but I should be scared into fits if I saw one ! ", 
giggled Miss Connie Ramsden. " A gentle- 
man friend once told me ..." 

" This house is haunted ? " Miss Dora 
asked me. " I can believe you ! But, then, 
I'm sensitive about houses. A palmist I 
went to said to me, * I can see you're un- 
usually sensitive . . .' " 

" What are you going to do ? '* 

" Ah, I must find out what he expects. 

No good fitting a square ghost to a round 



At luncheon we were given to understand 
that Mr. Ramsden, like his daughter Connie, 
did not believe in 
ghosts ; unlike her, he 
would be undaunted if 
he saw one. 

" But, father, you 
wouldn't sleep in a 


" Mrs. Fordliam explained that an addition to our party was expected ; and 
Miles added that Sir Robert Brunn wished to enquire into the alleged ' limp- 
ing Roundhead of Fordham.' " 

The sisters were still describing their own 
and their friends' psychic experiences when 
Mr. Ramsden returned from his tour. The 
car that brought him took away an invita- 
tion for Sir Robert Brunn ; and I debated 
for the tenth time whether to have myself 
recalled to London. 

" You don't know this Brunn, do you ? ", 
I asked Bertie, as we went in to luncheon. 
*' Don't cash his cheques ; don't play bridge 
with him ; and let him go the minute he's 
finished his ghost-hunt. What you will do 
if he draws blank . . ." 

"If he wants a ghost . . .," Bertie an- 
swered. " Can I count on your help 1 " 


room if you knew il 
haunted ! ", protested 

" And why not ? " 
manded Mr. Ramsden, tucking the corner 
of his napkin inside his collar. " There's a 
fellow at Belmar who does nothing else." 

Mother and daughters shuddered in unison. 

" Would that be a man called Brunn ? " 
asked Miles. " He may be coming here." 

" But you^re not haunted, are you ? " 
enquired Mr. Ramsden in surprise. 

" Fve never seen anything," Miles an- 
swered, " though Sir Robert has some story 
• . . Would it make any difference . . . ? " 


" It might clinch the deal," Mr. Ramsden 
trumpeted unexpectedly. " I'm not blind, 
of course, to the defects of this place ..." 

" It never occurred to me that a ghost 
would cover them up," Miles answered with 
a smile that did not wholly conceal his 

good faith, but you may be mistaken. Now, 
ghosts never make a mistake of that kind, 
I'm told. They don't trouble to haunt a 
house unless it's genuine old : sixteen-hun- 
dred, seventeen-hundred ..." 

" I've certainly never heard of a nine- 
teenth-century ghost," Mrs. Fordham inter- 
posed pacifically. " A haunted 
house is rather an embarrass- 
ment, though." 

Mr. Ramsden laid a squat 
finger to the side of a squat 
nose and winked slowly. 

" To the vendor or the pur- 
chaser ? " he asked. " When 
old Penfold took me over 
Heaton Grange, he wanted 

*' A ghost would shew that the place was a 
genuine antique/' retorted Mr. Ramsden, 
glancing with disfavour about the dining- 
room, which had been rebuilt after the big 
fire in the year of the Diamond Jubilee. 
" Your architect did his work well, I must 
say, joining up the new and the old. Too 
well. I've only your word for it," he con- 
tinued, pointing an accusing fork at his 
host, " that the whole place isn't a fake ! 
All right, all right ! I'm not attacking your 

** ' This house is haunted ? ' Miss Dora asked me. ' I can 
beheve you ! But, then, I'm sensitive about houses. A 
palmist I went to said to me, " I can see you're un- 
usually sensitive. . . ." ' " 

ninety thousand for it. Now . . ." 

" But I've lived in Marston Dale since 1 
was born," Miles objected. " This is the 
%st time I've heard of a ghost at Heaton." 

" Four of Mrs. Penfold's maids have left 
without notice," Mr. Ramsden rejoined. 
" According to this Brunn, it's a rare old 
dale for ghosts." 

His effect was weakened by a dirge from 
Mrs. Ramsden on the passing of the old- 
fashioned servant. I caught fragments 
about " self-respecting girls ", " twice the 
money and half the work ", *' homes no 
better than pig-sties " and " these cinemas ". 

" What you want with a ghost," she 
reproached her husband, " I don't know." 



" You don't ? " Mr. Ramsden enquired 
vsarcastically. " Well, Penfold came down 
ten thousand to-day ; and he'll come down a 
bit more before I'm through. Grainger is 
in the market, too, with Belmar Castle. 
And Milford with Cuttle Sands. Milford, 
by the way, didn't know that he was haunted 
till Sir Robert found the thing trailing out 
of the chapel." . . . Mr. Ramsden pushed 
away his plate and brought his fist down 
with a bang that set the glasses tinkling. 
" Now, Fordham, what's your rock-bottom 
price for the Manor ? " 

We had heard the same question fiY^i 
times in four days ; and, though the answer 
did not vary, I fancy that Miles was becom- 
ing tired of giving it. 

*/ Hadn't you better wait till Sir Robert 
comes ? " asked Bertie. " As his visit to 
the Penfolds took ten thousand of! the price, 
you may be well advised to see whether he 
is going to be an equally expensive guest 

" You'll find him an expensive guest on 
the whiskey," chuckled Mr. Ramsden, at a 
tangent. " Bottle a night, I shouldn't won- 
der, and cigars to match. When you're 
watching out for spirits, he says, you must 
put the spirits down to keep your spirits 
up. Rather neat, eh ? You put the spirit 
down,'' he repeated to his daughters until 
they smiled appreciatively, " to keep your 
spirits up.'' 

Even without this specimen of Sir Robert 
Brunn's wit, I was prepared by early experi- 
ence for a man who — in Mr. Ramsden's phrase 
— was " an expensive guest on the whiskey". 
I was not prepared, however, for the dislike 
which he aroused in the usually tolerant 
Fordhams until Miles turned from shaking 
hands with him to whisper in my ear : " You 
were right. I'm sorry," and Bertie betrayed 
his emotion by the twitching of his cheek- 
muscles. Ingratiating as when he insinu- 
ated himself into undergraduate parties to 
which he had not been invited, boastful and 
flushed as when he left them, Sir Robert 
Brunn burst upon Fordham Manor as a 
man with six senses and no nerves. 

" Yes, I knew Marston Dale when I was a 
boy," I heard him explaining, as a suit-case 
and a crate of books were unloaded from 
the car. " My uncle, the fifth baronet, used 
to climb here. Do I really believe . . . ? 
My dear sir, should I spend my time in this 
way if I didn't ? Afraid ? You must cast 
out fear before you approach this branch of 
science. I suppose I've always been too 
much interested to be afraid. This part of 

Cumberland attracted me ever since I read 
The Tragedy of the Roundheads. No tea, 
thanks," he broke off, looking confidently 
for a syphon and decanter. 

'' The Tragedy . . . ? " echoed Miles, 
whose library of local history was exhaustive 
and well used. 

" You know it ? Ah, a pity ! When 
they dispersed and the royalists got a bit 
of their own back . . . This part of the 
country was the scene of dreadful cruelties. 
I find that people up here don't like to talk 
about this chapter in their family history ; 
and that, I take it, is why one man after 
another swears that^his house isn't haunted 
when the very stones are crying out for 
vengeance. John Grainger, Jerry Penfold : 
they looked me in the eyes and said theyd 
never seen anything. One takes their word 
for it. Some people can't detect an escape 
of gas, but that doesn't prove that gas isn't 
escaping. Have you any objection to my 
looking over the place ? Don't tell me which 
the haunted room is . % ." 

In the first opportunity of speech that 
was allowed him Miles explained, half apolo- 
getically, that the house, in all the years he 
had known it, had never been credited with 
the suspicion of a haunted room. Sir Robert 
looked him, too, in the eyes and shrugged 
his shoulders : 

'' Well . . . Needless to say, I shan't 
publish anything without your permission, 
but old Hardwicke ..." 

I was not sure of the name and asked 
Brunn to repeat it. 

" Matthew Hardwicke," explained Sir 
Robert. " You know the story ? Accord- 
ing to The Tragedy of the Roundheads, he 
was coming here for sanctuary and got 
caught in a man-trap. The people of the 
house wouldn't take sides and left him to 
die. Well, Hardwicke was a powerful man. 
He dragged himself in, man-trap and all. 
I've never heard whether he was knocked 
on the head or whether he died from loss 
of blood, but the limping Roundhead, with 
part of the trap ..." 

" Gracious ! " cried the elder Miss Rams- 

" I shan't sleep a wink ! " moaned her 

Miles Fordham set himself to rally a party 
that was rapidly surrendering to panic. 

" You've been here a week," he pointed 
out to Mrs. Ramsden, " and, in that time, 
you've seen and heard nothing. I've lived 
here for seven-and-forty years. We've had 
people who called themselves psychic . . ." 

" ' Fordham told ine to 
make my own choice,' 
Brunn answered aggres- 
sively, walking to the 
bell. ' Now here . . . 
curious thing ... I felt it a 
little as I came into the house, 
then I lost it, then I found it 
again. Have you the feeling 
tnat . . . we're not alone ? ' " 

" Don't crab the place, 
Fordham," advised Mr. 
Eamsden. " If Sir Robert 
is right, this shoidd be the 

Powerless to clear the re- 
putation of his house against 
one man who wished it to be 
haunted and another who 
made it his business to cater 
for this unusual taste, Miles 
contented himself with re- 
minding Mrs. Eamsden that 
she and her daughters were 
sleeping in the new wing. 

'' On your husband's ad- 
mission, there are no ghosts 
younger than the eighteenth 
century. If you would care 
house," he continued to Brunn 
my son to get the 
north wing shut up . . ." 

" Ah ! ", Sir Robert ejaculated softly. 

" Not because it's haunted, but becaurio 
there's dry-rot in some of the floors. If 
you'll decide which room you'd like for your 
experiments, I'll have a fire lighted." 

Sir Robert bowed his thanks and began 
to describe his experiences in collecting 

material for The Haunted Houses of Cumber - 
land. Miles drifted away, murmuring 
" keys " ; and I caught Bertie following him. 
'* You shew the fellow round," he whis- 
pered. " I must go up to the attics." 


" What are you doing there ? " I asked. 

*' There's a lot of junk that we used for 
dressing up when we were children. If 
Brunn and Bamsden wmit to see a ghost 

" If Brunn gets on to a good scent, I'm 
afraid he may stay on indefinitely," I said. 

" I'm afraid that, unless I find a ghost 
for him, he'll stay on till he finds one for 
himself," said Bertie. 


Our voyage of discovery was shortened by 
Sir Robert Brunn's evident liking for com- 
fort ; and the succession of bleak, unheated 
rooms to which I — in a hat and fur-coat 
—first introduced him seemed to damp his 
spirits and to dull his psychic perceptions. 

*' Nothing here," he muttered, with a 
shiver. *' Ah, this is better ! L' he exclaimed, 
when I brought him to the suite traditionally 
known as " the Prince of Wales' rooms ". 

" These, too, are modern,'!; I had to tell 
him. *' They were rebuilt after the fire." 

'' And very nice, too," Brunn murmured 
approvingly. " No one sleeping here ? " 

" They're sort of state apartments," I 

*' Fordham told me to make my own 
choice," Brunn answered aggressively, walk- 
ing to the bell. *' Now here . . . It's a 
curious thing ... I felt it a little as I 
came into the house, then I lost it, then I 
found it again. Have you the feeling that 
. . . we're not alone ? Don't tell the 
women ! " 

As I seemed to be no longer required, I 
returned to the hall and brake it to Miles 
that the sacred royal suite had been appro- 
priated by Sir Robert, who was having a 
fire lighted and sending for whiskey and 
cigars to support him through his vigil. 

" Something that he felt and then lost 
and felt again ..." I explained as best I 

" But this is utter nonsense ! " Miles ex- 
ploded. " I've lived here all my life ; and 
if there'd been anything to see . . ." 

" The eye sees what the eye brings with 
it to see," Bertie answered darkly. " I 
should get the conversation on to other 
subjects, if I were you, or the Ramsden 
women may begin to panic. Keep a few 
lights burning all night. And if you could 
get people to dance ..." 

I can perhaps best summarize my degrada- 
tion that night by recording that my hostess 
looked at me as though she suspected me of 

being intoxicated and that the lymphatic 
Connie Ramsden was moved to say : " Well, 
you have been the life and soul of the party ! " 
Bertie had demanded noise of me ; and we 
created a noise that startled the Fordhams 
and shocked their servants. 

The din was at its height when Bertie 
came in at midnight, rather white-faced, in 
a dressing-gown. Sir Robert, he reported, 
had met with an accident ; if some one would 
lend a hand in getting him to bed, some one 
else might telephone for a doctor. It was, 
he hoped, nothing serious, but the fellow 
was unconscious. Apparently he had been 
hurrying from his room and had fallen down 
a short flight of stairs. The best thing, 
Bertie recommended, was for the women to 
go quietly to their rooms and, if he might 
suggest it, to say nothing about the mishap 
until we had received Sir Robert's version 
of it. 

"You mean he was just a bit . . . ? " 
began Mr. Ramsden and ended his question 
with an imitation of a drunken man's gait. 

" He wa'fe sober enough when I spoke to 
him," answered Bertie. " Frightened out 
of his life . . ." 

" What happened to frighten him ? " 
asked Mrs. Ramsden. 

" Something about a man with a pike," 
answered Bertie with a puzzled frown. 

" The limping Roundhead ! " gasped Miss 
Dora Ramsden. 

" That's as may be," Bertie snapped. 
" Give me a hand with him, George. He'll 
break his neck if he tries to hop away on 
one leg." 


Sir Robert Brunn was still unconscious 
when we carried him to his room ; but he 
came to, tremulous and gabbling, as we laid 
him out in preparation for the doctor's 

" What happened ? " I asked. 

Brunn looked in terror into every corner 
of the room and pledged me, dry-mouthed, 
to stay with him till morning. 

"I brought it on myself," he muttered, 
'' Is there any whiskey left in that bottle ? 
... I didn't believe . . ." 

*' What happened ? " I repeated. 

Brunn lay back on his piilows, glancing 
dizzily about him till his eyes came to rest 
on Bertie Fordham. 

" You'll come back later to relieve old 
George ? " he asked. *' Good fellow ! I'm 
all right. Only a bit shaken. Who wouldn't 
be ? I don't want any doctors." He closed 


his eyes and lay without speaking till the door shut 
behind Bertie's back. Then he sat up as if he had 
been ro welled. " Did he tell you ? " 

" About your accident ? " 

Brunn nodded and gulped half a tumbler of neat 
whiskey : 

" Did he see it too ? " 

" Your limping Roundhead ? " 

" My . . . ? Well . . . George . . . George, can 
you create these things by thinking of them ? Limp- 
ing Roundhead 1 It was like the Grey Nun at 
Belmar. Did young Fordham see it too ? I . . . I 
only thought of it yesterday/' 

" Hadn't you better begin at the beginning ? " I 
suggested. " What brought you to these parts ? 
What set you on spook-hunting 1 " 

Incredibly, Brunn blushed. 

" It began more or less as a joke," he answered. 
" Last year. My pals were all saying where they 
were going for Christmas ; and I found I hadn't been 
invited anywhere. I . . . invented a Haunted Houses 
of Devonshire and lived 
like a fighting-cock all 
the winter. This year . . . 
You see, I didn't believe 
in . . . them ; and the 
other fellows did. Great 
game, George ! I got the 
best bedroom everywhere 
and. all kinds of 

attention ; I sat up 
with a book and 
some whiskey ; and, 
when I'd finished 
them, I 
turned in. 
Next day I 
reported. If 
there was a 
known ghost, 
I said I'd 

Sir Robert Brunn was still 



seen him ; if not, I made him up, like the 
limping . . . That's an odd business, 
though . . .," he ended with a return of 
his old terror. 

" So, the Grey Nun of Belmar ? " I put in. 

" Something like her had been seen, years 
ago," he declared eagerly. " People are 
funny about ghosts. They think it's sort 
of distinguished to have one about the place. 
That fellow Ramsden ! Well, as there was 
evidently a demand, I set out to supply it. 
I've found ghosts, I've invented ghosts 
through the length and breadth of Marston 
Dale," he boasted. " If you call yourself 
psychic, people will believe any tomfoolery 
you tell them. The women think you're 
no end courageous, too. I've been lodged 
and boarded now . . . But that's all over ! 
To-night ..." He shivered and gripped 
my wrist. " I want your opinion of it, 
knowing all the facts. I give you my word 
I made up the Roundhead and the man- 
trap. Well, I'd settled down for the even- 
ing in the best chair of the best room . . . 
Merciful heavens, what's that ? " 

There had been a creak on the boards of 
the passage ; and I now heard a gentle 
rapping on the door. 

" Only Fordham, wanting to see how you 
are," I said. " Come in ! " 

Instead of our host, however, Mr. Rams- 
den tiptoed into the room. 

" I came to see you were none the worse 
. . ./'he began. Then his ruling passion 
got the better of him. " Look here, Sir 
Robert, I want a word with you in private 
before old Fordham comes up. You know 
I'm in treaty for this house. Though I'm a 
self-made man, I value old things. I just 
love the old chapel here and the priest's 
hiding-place and . . . well, everything. It's 
genuine old. It's the goods. When I came 
here, I asked if it was haunted, but old 

Fordham would only say he didn't believe 
in ghosts. I don't, either ; but you do, I 
take it." 

** If you had ever seen one . . .," began 
Brunn soberly. 

*' Well, I'd like to know what you've seen 
here. It just makes the difference whether 
I buy at Fordham's figure," he explained, 
disregarding me. " You call the thing ' the 
limping Roundhead ' ? And you say the 
story's in . . . what was it 1 The Tragedy 
of the Roundheads ? " 

I felt, of a sudden, that, though Sir Robert 
Brunn deserved less than no mercy, it would 
be merciful if I retired .at this moment. 
The Tragedy of the Roundheads had been con- 
ceived by his unscrupulous imagination in 
the same manner and the same moment as 
The Haunted Houses of Cumberland^ the 
limping Roundhead, the Grey Nun of Belmar 
Castle and the monster of Heaton Grange. 
For a reason that I cannot define, I did not 
wish to hear this bloated impostor telling a 
story which he and I both knew to be a lie. 
'* The ... the limping Roundhead, yes," 
Brunn was stammering. 

" And this is what you saw to-night ? " 
persisted Mr. Ramsden. " Now, I want full 
particulars. First of all, how was the crea- 
ture dressed ? When did he appear ? How 
did he get in ? . . ." 

I interrupted the torrent of questions to 
bid Brunn good-night. * 

" Don't you want to hear this ? " cried 
Mr. Ramsden in amazement. 

'' I know the whole story," I answered. 
Perhaps this was not strictly accurate, 
but anything that I did not know would 
be told me in three minutes' time by Bertie 
Fordham. As I went downstairs, he was 
returning from the attic where reposed the 
" junk " in which he and his brothers had 
dressed up as children. 


T^EGEMBER chills us with its icy breeze : 
■^"^ You cried that life from out the world had fled ? 
But whilst the sap hides somewhere in the trees, 
The world's asleep —not dead. 

How can the world be dead when thrushes sing ? 

And yesterday I heard the thrush's voice. 
His twice -sung song was all of love and spring : 

He sang—** Rejoice— rejoice ! " 






The career of Maria Jeritza, the great opera singer, has been remarkable. She was born at Bruuii and her mother 
mtended her to be tramed as a mm, and she was entered as a novice in the convent of her native city But when 
the child^ learned that she would have to have her hair cut short, she wanted to escape, and committed three petty 
crimes which brought about the desired punishment— that of being sent home. When she was twelve she studied 
at the Brunn Conservatoire and sang in the chorus at the Theatre. In 1907 she made her debut in Olmutz as Elsa Here 
8he laid the foundation of her future fame and now she is regarded as the principal operatic prima donna of Europe and 


BECAUSE I happen to interpret char- 
acters of the type of La Tosca, Thais 
and Fedora, you must please not 
think that I personally lead the same exotic, 
passion-torn existence as those poor heroines. 
I hate to spoil a perfectly good story, but I 
must confess at once that in real life I am 
not at all like any of them. Making love on 
the stage realistically, you see, is an art 
which every prima donna must learn. After 
the hectic atmosphere of the operatic stage 
one soon learns that the simple life and 
everyday pleasures are the best means of 
obtaining true happiness. 

Now for a few musings on operatic work 
commencing w^ith the passionate love scenes. 
In the first place, the difficult thing about 
operatic love is reconciling the inevitable 
aria with the gestures which the course of 
true romance requires. The librettist de- 
mands that you embrace the tenor, that you 
yield to his kisses. At the same time the 
composer insists that you sing at length of 
your heart's desires. That is the problem — 
vocal effects achieved without the sacrifice 
of dramatic illusion. 

Another question which faces the prima 
donna is that of adaptability to the tenor. 
Every heroine must know her hero. If he 
is cold, she must be entreating. If his 
methods are timid, she must be bold. But 
if he is insistent, she must be discreet. In 
addition, if the tenor is short, the soprano 
must stand so that when he sings to her 
eyes he will not be looking at her neck. If 
he is stout, she must retard her movements 

and gestures so that he does not look ridic- 
ulous in attempting to match her pace. 
Yes, to make a love scene convincing on the 
operatic stage is an art in itself. 

However, one of my most famous artistic 
bits of stage business was originally the 
result of an accident. It happened while I 
was rehearsing " La Tosca " with its famous 
composer, Giacomo Puccini, We were in 
the midst of the second act, where, prepar- 
ing to sing the aria, " Vissi d'Arte," I was 
about to sink on the sofa overcome with 
grief, while Scarpia poured out his coffee at 
the table. In moving across the stage to 
get to the sofa I slipped and fell, and not 
wishing to interrupt the musical action, sang 
my aria lying where I had fallen on the stage. 
Puccini was delighted. " At last," he cried, 
" we have the exact way the ' Vissi d'Arte ' 
should be sung. Not lying back on the 
sofa, but down stage by the footlights, and 
flat on the floor." Ever since then I have 
sung the aria while lying flat on the floor, 
and this act which so pleased Puccini has 
proved immensely popular with all my 

Another amusing incident I recall was 
when I was rehearsing " Fedora " for the 
New York production. Martinelh, the 
famous tenor, who sang the part of Loris, 
and I came to a rehearsal in a frame of 
body most inappropriate for the rapid, 
breathless ' acting and singing demanded. 
Imagine Sardou's hero stricken with lumbago 
and his heroine with such a cold in her neck 
that she could not turn it. But in a short 




time we were both so engrossed in our parts 
that our physical ills were entirely forgotten. 
We discovered the fact at the same moment, 
and stood looking at each other in great 
surprise, Martinelli saying, *' Why, my lum- 
bago has disappeared," and I, *' Why, I can 
move my neck ! " while everybody laughed. 
Who could deny the therapeutic power of 
music after such an experience? 

Although I personally love my life as an 
opera singer I rather hesitate to advise 
young singers taking it up as a career, 
because it is certainly not a bed of roses. 
First of all, you must believe in yourself. If 
you know you can sing and do not care for 
anything else in the whole world, if you are 
ready to sacrifice all your other desires in 
order to sing, I think it is decidedly worth 

Secondly, you must make sacrifices. For 
your musical studies you must give up society, 
pleasure, and the easy life. Not only must 
you have a voice and know how to use it, 
but you must study acting, dancing, dress- 
ing, harmony, the history and theory of 
music. You must learn to walk, to sit, and 
to stand on the stage. You must work, 
work,, work, and have a great seriousness of 
purpose. Above all, you must not rush. 
Why hurry ? Art is not an express train. 
It is better to take the slow way — there are 
so many wonderful stops in between, by- 
ways that must not be overlooked. 

One atep in repertoire. Much, much time 
must be spent on repertoire. In studying a 
role one must be honest with oneself, and 
with the public. To know the cue, to come 
in on time, to sing every note on pitch, to 
pronounce each syllable correctly — that does 
not make the artist ! No, one must live in 
joy, wonderment, and sorrow, the character 
of the heroine one is to portray. 

It must not be that Maria Jeritza, Made- 
line Sriiith or Gretna Jones sings the part 
of Marguerite. No ! It must be that Mar- 
guerite, reincarnated, comes out into the 
garden, discovers the jewels, sings her songs, 
expresses her melancholy love for Faust, and 
dies again her unhappy death for love. 

And then, after the curtain falls and the 
theatre is darkened, in spirit Marguerite tip- 
toes behind the scenery, steps over the ropes 
and around the " props " that lie behind the 
big stage, and enters the dressing-room to 
thank Madeline Smith or Gretna Jones or 
Maria Jeritza for letting her once more live, 
and love, and die ! 

I am especially fond of playing Puccini 
heroines— flesh-and-blood women, humanly 

impulsive and emotional — whom the public 
loves. At the same time I realise that 
characters who are more complex and less 
appealing stand for a natural development 
(no matter how unnatural they themselves 
seem to be) of modern intellectual and attistic 
trends and currents of thought. No artist 
can afford to ignore these modern roles, yet 
they are very difficult to make convincing to 
an audience. 

But the most taxing thing the opera 
singer has to do is to live a new character 
every other night, ranging from Elizabeth, La 
Tosca, and the Girl of the Golden West, to 
the neurotic heroines of the modern operas. 
For instance, I shall never forget studying 
the part of Max von Schilling's Mona Lisa, 
a role I created in Vienna. The character 
of the unfortunate heroine is a thoroughly 
human and sympathetic one. But I remem- 
ber it as one of the most harrowing I ever 

In the second act Lisa goes insane. I 
had never played a maniac before and felt 
that I ought to observe the part from life 
in order to do justice to it. And so I 
visited the great Viennese insane asylum at 
Steinhof and watched the gestures and 
expressions on the faces of the poor souls 
housed there. It was a terrible experience 
and poor satisfaction to read after the per- 
formance that I had portrayed Mona Lisa's 
insanity quite realistically. 

More amusing, but equally difficult, was 
submerging myself in the person of Octavian, 
the dashing young hero of " Eosenkavalier." 
It is a man's part, sung by a woman, and I 
am essentially a feminine creature, I must 
confess. Hence, wearing Octavian's breeches 
as they should be worn, moving about in 
them with ease and unconcern, worried me 
more than the vocal difficulties of the role. 
Luckily I was thin and looked the part — 
but a woman walks, sits, stands and moves 
in a way altogether different from a man, 
and I had to struggle, sometimes in despair, 
sometimes with shrieks of laughter, to deny 
my sex and emerge Octavian for the 

And so on — each role must be intensively 
prepared. It is a relief to go on concert 
tours, where I am allowed to be my inmost 
self — and yet the part in which I am least 
sure of myself is Maria Jeritza ! 

But enough of operatic musings. Life is 
not all work and I have my leisure hours. 
Still, I hope you are not expecting a prima 
donna's version of an Arabian Nights' enter- 
tainment, because I must confess that my 

Photo by ike Elzin SiudiOy E 91th Street, JS'ew lurk. 



tastes are very simple and my time, for 
recreation is limited. My real vacation is in 
the summertime, when I go to the Attersee, 
in the Austrian Alps, where for a few weeks 
I can forget my professional work, its cares 
and problems. There I see a good deal of 
my friends and enjoy life in an absolutely 
care-free fashion. I go rowing on the 
lake, take long walks and motor through 
the beautiful surroundings of the country- 

During the winter my idle hours are few 
and far between. My work absorbs all my 
time and my position deprives me of the 
freedom that others enjoy. I like to shop, 
I like to visit, I enjoy the theatre — particu- 
larly your gay and light-hearted musical 
comedies and concerts. Yet all personal and 
social relaxation is reduced to a minimum 
and I consider myself fortunate when I get 
a chance to spend an hour or two at a bridge 
table with a few intimate friends or to slip 
out and " go to the pictures." 

Books ? I am afraid I have never been 
a great reader, largely, I think, because there 
is so much actual drama to live in the great 
operatic roles. Incidentally, many of the 
great stories of literature are to be found in 
a more direct and theatrical form in the 
librettos of opera. Perhaps because I have 
acted and sung on the operatic stage roles 
from books as dissimilar as Charles Dickens' 
Cricket on the Hearth, and Pierre Louys's 
Aphrodite, Rodenbach's novel of the Dead 
City, the Faust which Gounod adapted from 
Goethe, Anatole France's Thais ^ the mystic 
librettos of von Hofmannsthal, and many 
others, I have not so keen a desire to read as 
I might otherwise have had. 

What I love to do, though I rarely get 
the chance, is to cook. When I was a young 
girl my mother saw to it that I learned to 

be a good cook. " Your husband shall never 
have a chance to tell me that you should 
have spent more time in the kitchen," she 
would say. To me, cooking is the eighth 
art. And I love to collect and experiment 
with out-of-the-way recipes. Some years 
ago I had an excellent cook. At my re- 
quest the Director of the Imperial House- 
hold of Vienna gave her a position in the 
royal kitchen and she was thoroughly trained 
in all its gastronomic traditions. For hun- 
dreds of years the Viennese Court had been 
famous for the variety and excellence of its 
cuisine. When my cook came back to me 
she brought with her' the choicest of these 
court recipes, and when I wish to rise to 
dizzy heights in cooking I always turn to 
the pages of one of these three fat books of 
recipes which I have at home and concoct 
the most ambrosial delicacies. And my 
mother-in-law, Blanche Marchesi, the world- 
famous teacher of singing, is an admirer 
of my cooking ability. 

It may be an unusual confession, but I 
owe much to my mother-in-law. When I 
visit her she discusses with me the opera 
singers of her day, and I learn a great deal. 
Her mother taught the art of song to Emma 
Nevada, Sybil Sanderson, Emma Calve, 
Nellie Melba and a host of others. And 
among the light, dancing chaff of her amusing 
personal reminiscences I seldom fail to 
garner some golden grains of real singing 
wisdom ; little technical points in Emma 
Nevada's rendering of the " Jewel Song," 
and the theory of Sybil Sanderson's effortless 
control of certain high-range effects. Yes, 
I dearly love these intimate talks with my 

I have " mused " back to opera again, so 
I will bid adieu before I lose myself in boring 
details of the operatic life. 

Photo hy the Elzin Studio, E dlth Street, New York. 

" * How,' said the girl uncertainly, ' are you going to get money ? ' * I shall go to a Bank,' said I, * and ask them to 
vnre to London. If I show them my car, they'll probably lend me enough to buy us some clothes, but we shan't be 

able to leave before to-raorrow.' " 



Author of " the Stolen March,'' " As Other Men Are,'' " And Five were Foolish,'* 
" Berry and Co,," '' Jonah and Co.," etc. 


MY uncle, Colonel Jeremy Sundown, 
was a strange man. He was also 
old and my only relative. Every 
Sunday at three o'clock I would call at his 
Club : but, though, if ever I made excuse, 
he was greatly annoyed, when I came he 
treated me with rudeness and would always 
forgo his tea, lest he should have to pay for 
mine as well. 

I must frankly confess that for a long time 
my attention to him was interested, for I 
believed him to be rich ; but my worldly 
wisdom was presently suitably served, for 


one day he bluntly requested the loan of 
fifty pounds. I am glad to remember that 
I quickly wrote him a cheque and that I 
had the decency thereafter to be more 
punctilious about visiting him. Indeed, I 
once or twice went so far as to ask him to 
dine with me, but he each time refused. 
Three more small loans I made him, but he 
plainly disliked asking me to lend him money 
and never referred to the matter of paying 
me back. 

Then, one day, I heard he had died on the 
steps of his Club ; and two days later I 

1926, by Dornford Yates, in the United States of America, 




learned that he had left me three hundred 
and fifty thousand pounds. 

I had always declared that, if ever I 
became a rich man, I would lead a life of 
complete and impregnable idleness : but, 
after six months of leisure in the South of 
France, I could bear this condition no 
longer and wrote desperately to George 
Liistre, who was a City solicitor and an old 
friend of mine, asking him to keep his eyes 
open for any suitable job. 

To my delight, he replied by return of 
post, saying that my letter had been timely, 
for that he had waiting at that moment a 
singular piece of work, for which^ said he, I 
can find no takers at all, because, as luck will 
have it, it is a rich man's job. 

That was enough for me ; and, telling my 
servants to follow, I set out for London 

So it fell out that at eight o'clock on a 
fine July evening I ran into Blois, with 
dust lying on my face and tar dripping from 
the wings of my new Rolls-Royce. I was 
healthily tired, for, leaving at dawn, I had 
come from Grasse in the day. And that is 
a long journey. 

I left my dressing-case at The Hotel 

and drove to a garage where I knew they 
would care for the car. Then I walked back 
to the hotel and half an hour later sat down 
to a decent meal. 

When this was over, I was almost too 
tired to smoke, and, after a cigarette, I 
defied the law of digestion and went to 

I had given careful instructions that I was 
not to be called and was fully expecting to 
sleep for ten or twelve hours ; but no more 
than three had gone by before I was awak- 
ened by the violent clamour of a powerful 
electric gong. 

For some moments I heard it in my 
dreams, but at last I opened my eyes. 

The hotel was on fire. 

Within and without the building, every- 
body present seemed to have lost their wits : 
I never have heard such an outcry, and, what 
with the noise which the guests and staff 
made negotiating passages and stairs, the 
howls of the crowd which had already 
collected in the street, the shrieks of fright- 
ened women and the deafening persistence 
of the gong, anyone might have thought 
that the end of the world was at hand. Yet 
there seemed to me to be no imminent 
danger, for, though I could smell the smoke, 
I could hear no sound of the fire and, when 
I looked out of mj window, there were no 

flames to be seen. Moreover, the electric 
light was still working ; so I put on a coat 
and some trousers and, thrusting all else 
that I had into my dressing-case, left my 
room and made my way down to the hall. 

I believe I was the last person to leave the 
hotel, and, as I gained the street, for the 
first time a glow appeared in the windows of 
a chamber upon the first floor. 

Even then the building could most cer- 
tainly have been saved, but the firemen did 
not arrive, and the police, who had formed 
a cordon, refused to permit anyone else to 
enter or re-enter the house. 

In vain the luckless proprietor begged to 
be allowed to return and empty his safe : 
in vain a tall American insisted that it 
would take him less than one minute to 
fetch his wife's jewels : in vain I collected 
six 'porters and declared that, armed with 
buckets, we alone could get the fire under 
in a quarter of an hour. The answer was 
always the same. ' It is too late now. 
You should not have left the house.' 

It was an outrageous business : but that 
is the way of France, and, since Fire waits 
for no man, by the time the brigade arrived, 
the building was doomed. 

The hotel stood well back from the street 
in a sort of jplace, and I was standing, with 
my back to the front of a shop, immediately 
opposite, watching the conflagration, when 
I became aware of a girl who was standing 
beside me doing the same. 

She was hatless, and the fur collar of her 
loose, tweed coat was fastened about her 
throat. She was extraordinarily handsome, 
and might have been twenty-five. Her 
short, thick hair was dark and shining in 
the light of the flames, and she leaned easily 
against the window, with her hands thrust 
into her pockets and a rueful look on her 

As I glanced at her, the crowd came back 
on us, and I put out my arm, to save her 
from being crushed. 

She smiled and thanked me. 

'' Were you staying there ? " said I. 

She nodded. 

" Unfortunately." 

" Have you lost your luggage ? " said I. 

" I've lost everything," she said. " I was 
fool enough to rush out when I heard the 
noise— and there you are." 

With that, she glanced down, and I saw 
that her legs were bare. There were little 
bedroom slippers upon her feet, and a wisp 
of a night-gown was floating from under her 



*' Good Heavens," said I. '"' Have you no 
clothes at all ? " 

" Not a stitch. I tell you, I've lost every- 
thing. And if those fools with the hose 
don't do better than they've done up to 
now, I suppose the garage will go, and I shall 
lose my car. How are you off ? " 

'' Oh, I'm all right," said I, '' I only had 
a dressing-case with me and I brought that 

As I spoke, I looked down to the pavement. 

My dressing-case w^as gone. 

I do not think I should have been human, 
if I had not sworn audibly. 

" What's the matter ? " said the girl. 

" Oh, nothing," said I. " Only, those 
wallahs with the hose aren't the only fools 
here to-night. Let's — let's get out of this, 
shall we ? " 

We fought our way out of the press. 

As we emerged — • 

" I thought you said you had a dressing- 
case," said the girl. 

'' So I had," said I. ** And now some- 
body else has one. In fact, as far as I can 
see, I'm only a pair of trousers up on you. 
But then your coat's longer." 

" You don't mean to say " 

" Yes, I do," said I. " And, what's more, 
I'm not going to complain, because I bought 
it. Anyone who likes to deposit an expen- 
sive-looking dressing-case in the middle of 
a crowd like that deserves what he gets. 
But don't tell anyone. I'm going to say it. 
was burned." 

The girl began to laugh helplessly. 

" And now," said I, " I'm really quite 
sick of myself ; so let's talk about you. Are 
you alone here ? " 

'' Absolutely." 

*' Don't you know a Bank or anything ? " 

She shook her dark head. 

*' I was only passing through," she said. 

*' Well, what are you going to do ? " 

*' And you ? " said the girl. 

I reflected. Then — 

" I'm going to take you," I said, *' to 
another hotel. You must go to bed and to 
sleep. And, as soon as the shops are open, 
I'll get you some things." 

We started to walk slowly towards 
another hotel. 

" This is all wrong," said the girl suddenly. 
" Utterly wrong. And yet " — she looked 
me full in the face — '' I'm going to accept 
your offer. I'm rather independent, you 
see ; and I don't want to get tied up with 
a helpful crowd. If you'll come in good 
time to-morrow, I'll have a list " 

" What a joy it is," I said thankfully, " to 
meet a sensible child." 

'^ —but you mustn't think that I make a 
habit of letting strange men choose my 

There was a moment's silence. 


"I'm glad of that," I said gravely. 
" Very glad. And, to tell you the truth, 
I'm not in the habit of choosing stockings 
for strange girls." 

After a little — 

" I didn't mean to be ungracious," she 
said slowly. " You're being very good to 

" Nonsense," said I. " It's pure fellow- 
feeling. Hang it all, if the nude can't care 
for the nude " 

" How," said the girl uncertainly, " are 
you going to get money ? " 

" I shall go to a Bank," said I, '' and ask 
them to wire to London. If I show them 
my car, they'll probably lend me enough to 
buy us some clothes, but we shan't be able 
to leave before to-morrow. Can you wait 
till then ? " 

The girl nodded. 

" I was going to Lyons," she said : " but 
now I must go about. I live with my 
brothers near Rouen." 

" That's my way," said I. " So, if your 
car is out of action, I'll drive you home." 

" Oh, I can go by train." 

*' As you please," said I. *' I want you 
to do what you want." 

As we came to the hotel I was seeking — 

" Tell me," said the girl. " Why are you 
doing all this ? " 

I thought for a moment. Then — 

*' Because I like you," I said. 
* * * * * 

When, after viewing the Rolls, the man- 
ager of the Bank I had approached, offered 
to lend me two hundred and fifty francs 
against the car, I told him to go to the devil 
and borrowed ten thousand from the pro- 
prietor of the garage. 

Then I repaired to the hotel at which I 
had left the girl. 

A note was awaiting me. 

Dear Me. Lacey, 

Please buy me the things I have written down. 
As for my clothes, I think the best way will be 
for you to go to soine lingerie shof, explain the 
position and ask them to send a girl here. 
And then to a hat-shop and a dressmakers. 
And then, if you will come here later, I will 
tell you how much I owe. Oh, and a shoe-shop, 



please. I slept very well and am very com- 

Yours sincerely, 

Diana Landfall, 

Attached to the note was a list of what, I 
suppose, may be described as toilet requisites. 

I did as I was bid : and when I had 
finished, I purchased such things as I needed 
and telegraphed to London for funds. 

By the time I had bathed and changed, 
it was past midday, and, when I returned to 
the hotel, my lady was in the lounge. 

'' I've spent nearly six thousand francs, '^ 
she said, putting out a small hand. '* Is 
that very extravagant ? " 

" Men must hang together," said I. "In 
the interests of your future husband, I'm 
bound to say ' Yes.' '* 

" What I meant was — have you enough 
money ? Or must I buy a cheaper frock ? " 

" Not for worlds," said I admiringly. 
" I'd rather go without my lunch." 

I meant that. She looked exquisite — a 
study in apple-green and white. I never 
would have believed that such raiment could 
come out of Blois. 

I paid the bills, and we went out to look 
for her car. This we did not find ; for the 
roof of its garage had fallen, and, to judge 
from the condition of a big Kenault, which 
was protruding from the debris, it seemed 
likely that what was left of its fellows would 
not be worth taking up. 

" And so to luncheon," said I, for I was 
afraid to ask if the car had been insured. 

As we turned, I glanced at her, to see to 
my distress that she was half-way to tears. 

Not knowing what else to do, I reviled the 
French police with savagery and presently 
had my reward in the shape of a little half- 

" You're terribly insular," she said. 

"I admit I dislike foreign peoples when 
they let my compatriots down." 

" Moral, stay in your own country," she 

" How can I," said I, " if my compatriots 
won't ? I can't have them walking French 
streets in a night-gown and a good-looking 

Miss Landfall frowned. 

" I think," she said, " that episode might 
be forgotten." 

" It shall not be referred to," said I. 

She tilted her chin. 

It was a lovely day, and we lunched on a 
balcony, taking our time, for we had nothing 
to do. 

Over the meal we seemed on the way to 
friendship, but, though in the main Miss 
Landfall was very charming, that that was 
a state which she was uneasy to enter 
seemed once or twice most clear. When, 
therefore, luncheon was over, I handed her 
two thousand francs, told her the name of 
the inn at which I was staying and, having 
sent for a taxi, escorted her back to her 

At the door — ■ 

" If you want me, send for me," I said. 

" Very well," she said. And then, 
" Thank you." 

I lifted my hat and turned away. 

I spent a most trying afternoon, walking 
the streets of Blois and returning to my inn 
at least once every half-hour to see if I was 

I wanted to be required, very much. 
There was no reason why I should be : there 
were many why I should not. But, though 
I have lived an unusually solitary hfe and 
thriven upon it, on that July afternoon I did 
not want to be alone. Looking back, I 
think there is no doubt that I had already 
lost my heart, for, as I loafed to and fro, the 
picture of the girl, as I had first seen her, 
with the collar of fur fastened close about 
her throat and the flimsy night-gown floating 
about her slim, bare legs obsessed my mind, 
and the thought that, unless she summoned 
me, I should hardly see her again I found 

Yet, to exploit the obligation under which 
she lay to me was not to be thought of, and, 
in the end, I returned no more to my inn, 
but walked out into the country, because I 
made sure that, if she did summon me, it 
would be because she felt that, accepting my 
hospitality, she must make some return. 

When I was six miles out, the thought that 
she might have need of me sent me into a 
sweat, and I turned and came back like a 
madman, for fear that she would send to 
find I had betrayed my trust. 

Sure enough, a note was waiting. 

I tore it open. 

Miss Landfall requests the pleasure of Mr. 
Lacey's company at dinner at eight o'clock, 

I replied, bathed and changed, as far as 
my wardrobe was permitting, in the excite- 
ment of a youth : and at ten minutes to 
eight I sent up my name. 

All eyes were upon her, as she came down 
into the lounge, and I remember thinking 
that I must be but one of many that had 



fallen in love with so beautiful a thing. 

Her features were lovely ; and her gray 

eyes, steady and grave. She was tall and 

Blim and moved easily. Her feet were very 

because you didn't ask me : but now we'll 
drop the mask, and I'll be the guest." 

They found me some excellent Clicquot, 
and we dined very well : and I was in the 
sixth heaven and soaring from that, 
when all of a sudden at coffee she 
brought me clean down to earth. 

" You'll let me drive you to 
Eouen ? " I had said eagerly. 
She hesitated and then laughed. 
*' Let me send the money," she 

For a moment it was in my mind 

to call for the bill and leave the table. 

The insult was so uncalled 

for and, I think, undeserved. 

Then I remembered how 

** Then she turned and walked up the flagged pavement, 

whilst I stood, hat in hand, looking after her, in a mad 

hope that she would turn." 

small, and she had chosen Court slippers, 
very simple, without any strap. She wore 
no jewellery, but I do not think the finest 
pearls could have enhanced such comeliness. 

She smiled, when she saw me, like a pleased 
child : and that, I confess, did my heart 
good, for I was immediately certain that 
she had asked me to dinner, not of politeness, 
but because she did not want to be alone. 

" Shall we dine where we lunched ? " she 

" If you please," said L 

As we left the taxi — 

" And now you take over," she said, giv- 
ing me back my notes. " I had to ask you, 

she had smiled when she saw me, and I sat 
where I was. But the blood was up in my 
face, and I saw that her colour was high. 

*' Tell me something," I said. " And 
remember that I'm a plain man who's heard 
a lot about women, but known very few, so 
that I can't play any game, but only speak 
as I feel." 

" Go on," she said. 

" Do I seem to you the sort of man who 
would use an advantage which chance had 
put into his hands ? " 

She raised her eyebrows. 

" I've never really considered the point," 
she said. 



" Consider it now," said I. 

Her colour deepened. Then she looked 
me full in the eyes. 

" I'm not accustomed to be ordered," she 

" Nor I to be insulted," said I. 

There was a long silence. 

At length — 

*' I withdraw what I said, "she said quietly. 
" And I beg your pardon. If you knew more 
of women, you would know that I should 
never have spoken to you, if I had not known 
that I was safe in your hands. If, after 
this, you will be so good as to drive 

" I don't understand you," I said shakily. 

" That," she said, smiling, " is a very 
common complaint." 

I pointed to a bill, 
which hung from the 

" There's a dance at 
the Chateau to-night," 
I said. " Supposing we 

Her eyes lighted. 

'' I'd — I'd like to 

But she did not so much as 
look back." 

me to Rouen, I shall be very grateful." 
That was so very handsome that for one 

mad moment I thought of kissing her hand. 
Instead — 

go," she said tremulously, 

'' What's that ? " said I. 

" I'll tell you to-morrow." 

' On one con- 



" Good enough," said I, and called for the 

Some Frenchmen were in evening dress, 
but I think my suit looked as well as any 
of theirs, and all of the women looked 
graceless beside my tall, dark girl. 

I think she enjoyed the evening, and I 
know I did. 

In the dark of the garden I put her hand 
to my lips : she did not try to prevent me, 
but her fingers were very cold. 

And at half -past eleven I took her back to 

her hotel. 


My money arrived the next morning, and 
we left for Eouen at noon. 

We lunched by the way and had crossed 
the Seine by five. 

Then she asked me to stop the car, and I 
did so seven miles from the city at the top 
of a winding hill. 

" The condition is this," she said. " That 
you will say ' Goodbye ' at Rouen and never 
make any attempt to see me again." 

I sat very still. 

" I'm mad about you," I said slowly. 
" I think you know that. I've had quite 
a good life so far — a very good life. But I 
never had any light in it, until you came. 
Must you take this away ? " 

She did not answer at once, but sat more 
still than I, staring through the wind-screen 
on to the dusty road. 


'' Yes," she breathed. 

" You're not married ? " 

She shook her head. 

" Then let me plead my suit. Let me 
come back in six weeks and plead my suit. 
Because we met so strangely, is that any 
reason " 

" None," she said quickly. " But please 
give me your word." 

At last — 

'' All right," I said thickly. 

As I started the engine, she burst into 

For a quarter of an hour or more she 
sobbed in my arms, and, when at last I 
kissed her, she put her arms round my neck. 

*' But you promise ? " she whispered. 
** You promise 1 " 

*' If it's your will, Diana." 

'' Yes, dear." 


I set her down at an hotel in the Rue 
Jeanne d'Arc. 

She thanked me gently and gave me her 
little hand. 

Then she turned and walked up the flagged 
pavement, whilst I stood, hat in hand, 
looking after her, in a mad hope that she 
would turn. But she did not so much as 
look back, but passed out of my sight into 
the busy hall. 

Then I got into the car and drove on up 
out of Rouen, like a man possessed. 

Two days later I received the money she 
owed me by her cheque on a London Bank, 
No letter accompanied this, but only a sheet 
of note-paper, upon which were pencilled 
the words With my love. 

■i* ^ *i* *!* *K 

" It's the queerest job," said George 
Lustre. " Difficult, delicate, dangerous, and 
you'll only be paid by results." 

" Rot the pay," said I. *' Tell me its 

George looked at me rather hard, wonder- 
ing, I fancy, how I had come to grow testy, 
for I used to be easy-going, and nothing was 
ever supposed to be able to put me out. 

" You don't look yourself," said he. 

'* I'm not," said I. *' I'm sick — of no- 
thing to do. And now teach me how to get 

George rubbed his nose reflectively. 

" It's like this," he said. " By way of 
economy, England has cut down her coast- 
guards till they practically don't exist. 
You remember the race ? " 

"Perfectly," said I. "Fine, bearded 
fellows, with a spyglass under the arm and 
a trim, whitewashed cottage in a bight of the 

"That's right," said George. "Well, 
they've gone because, when they were there, 
they had nothing to do. Smuggling was 
dead. And, but for the duty on silk, I think 
they might have been spared." 

" You mean . . ." 

" I mean," said George, " that, thanks to 
the absence of the coast-guards, silk's being 
run into England for all that it's worth. 
And it's worth a good deal to-day. Take 
silk stockings alone : they're light, they're 
a speciality of France, and the modern 
English girl would far rather have them 
than bread. Very well. I act for certain 
people — big people, whose identity you may 
imagine, but I'm not free to disclose : and 
this silk-running business is making them 

" Naturally," said I. 

" But the trouble is this. It's not a job 
you can tackle from this side of the Channel 
alone. And the French police will not help. 
They say they will, but they don't — because 



they're not going to stop any money which 
comes into France. We've tried using 
private police, but they're absurdly expen- 
sive and out of their depth." 

" That I can believe," said I. " You 
want me to take it on ? " 

" I lay it before you," said George. " I 
don't think it's work you need shy at, 
because England's silk industry is like a poor, 
sick man that's trying to rise, and these 
infernal smugglers are helping to hold him 

" I agree," said I heartily. " It's in- 
excusable. Do you give me a free 
hand ? ". 

" Absolutely," said George. " But, of 
course, we can't recognise you. You'll be 
doing the work, but you won't appear. 
When everything's ready, you'll call the 
Revenue in and they'll get all the praise. 
That's on this side of the Channel. On the 
other, when you've located a depot beyond 
all doubt, VL^on our request the French will 
be bound to act. The question of payment 
doesn't seem to interest you, so I'll make 
the obvious remark that you won't lose by 
putting this smuggling down and leave it 

" The Revenue wallahs will let me come 
and go 1 " 

'' My dear Bertram," said George, " you'll 
become their patron saint." 

" Then that's settled," said I. " I'll make 
my preparations, and, when I'm ready to 
start, I'll let you know." 

With that, I left him, declining his offer 
of luncheon and, I fear, hardly thanking 
him for his interest, for I was wild to take up 
this strange occupation, in the hope of 
crowding the passionate business of Blois 
out of my life. 

Of this, to be frank, I had but little hope : 
but I had been hit so hard that something 
had to be done. Already I slept very ill 
and, when I slumbered, I dreamed. Memory 
rode me on a merciless rein. It would not 
have been one hundredth part so bad, if I 
had not had reason to suspect that Diana 
Landfall cared, that she had sent me away 
against her will. This was the bit and spur 
that tortured me. I sought no reasons : 
the fact was shocking enough. And'I was 
terribly certain that we had done the wrong 
thing. In her mysterious way Fate had 
brought us together, because it was good 
that we should meet : and together we had 
thrown in her face that lovely gift. 

And, when I say that I had never looked 
twice upon any woman before, I do not 

think it will be found surprising that I was 
beside myself. 


Five months had gone by, and I was 
unknown, yet feared. 

By friends and enemies ahke, we had come 
to be called ' The Court Cards ' — in a way 
a misnomer, for we were six in number, 
myself and my five men. Yet the name 
served, and, after a while, we each used a 
card as his badge. Mine was the King of 
Spades, my lieutenant's the Queen of Clubs, 
and the other four shared the Knaves. 

We had not stamped out the silk-running, 
for we were but six, and it was a profitable 
game ; but we had reduced it by half and 
from Dunkirk to Ushant there was not a 
smuggler that did not detest our name. 

George Lustre was radiant : the Revenue 
officers hung, like dogs, upon our lips : and 
I was a miserable man. 

That my work had brought me to Rouen 
increased my wretchedness, and I would not 
have walked along the Rue Jeanyie d' Arc, 
though it had been Smuggler's Row. 

However, I had no cause to go by that way, 
for my lodging was in a poor quarter of the 
city and, indeed, I was only there because 
the bigger the town, the easier may you lie 
hid, and I was to prove a chateau not far 
from Dieppe. 

This had stood empty for years, but, 
when, two days before, I had visited the 
property, with an ordinary ' order to view,' 
its caretakers, man and wife, had done what 
they could to set me against the place. I 
do not think that I should have seen their 
cunning, had I been indeed a possible pur- 
chaser : but that I was not, and I had half 
expected that they did not want the place 
sold. It was a rambling mansion, and no 
one who was not suspicious could ever have 
told whether or no he had been shown the 
whole of the house ; but I had counted the 
windows, whilst I was viewing the rooms, 
and, when I strolled round the building, I 
had counted another eight. And there were 
other signs, which I had learned to look for, 
that the place was being covertly used. 

I had no doubt it was a depot. The coast 
was but ten miles away, and we had already 
marked down a swift, sea-going launch. 

In fact, all was in train. It only remained 
to connect the launch with the chateau ; 
and tha* we were to do this night. Once 
that had been done, the launch would be 
taken red-handed upon the English coast, 
and at the same moment the chateau would 
be raided by the French. 



Satisfactorily to establish sueh connection 
was often difficult. For one thing, before 
the French could be approached, this had 
to bo proved beyond all shadow of doubt, 
and no assumption, however reasonable, was 
ever entertained : for another, it was vital 
that the smugglers should not for one instant 
suspect that we were at hand. Again, we 
had to be careful to vary our stratagems, 
for, once we had struck, the word went round 
like wildfire, and to repeat some successful, 
but recognizable ruse would have been to 
court failure. 

Now a car was, of course, always used to 
take the silk from the depot down to the sea, 
and, if we could identify the car that had 
left a depot as the one which within ' the 
hour was feeding a launch, that was evidence 
against the depot which nobody could 
possibly contest. But, without betraying 
our presence, this was most hard to do, for 
the cars ran without any lights and were 
driven with the utmost vigilance, so that, 
though we might see one leave, to attempt 
to follow it up was out of the question. 

Yet we had devised a system, which, when 
we were able to employ it, worked very well. 

As it was leaving its depot, one of the 
Court Cards would mark a wheel-cap of the 
car with a dash of red paint. This badge it 
would carry to the coast, and there, while 
the business of lading the launch was going 
on, another Court Card would first touch the 
wheel-cap with a handkerchief and then, 
clean the cap with spirit so that no trace at 
all of the paint remained. Of course, he 
could use no light, but, if, when examined 
later, the handkerchief was stained red, the 
connection we sought to establish was 
plainly proved. 

It was most important that the tell-tale 
smear upon the wheel-cap should be re- 
moved : if we failed to remove it, not only 
would its subsequent appearance arouse the 
smugglers' suspicions and argue the wisdom 
of closing their depot at once, but our preci- 
ous system itself would be betrayed and so 
could be used no more. 

As a rule, the hardest part of the business 
was to badge the car, and that I did always 
myself, taking one Knave to help me, while 
the Queen and the other three Knaves were 
between them keeping the coast. 

The night was fine and cold, and a gentle 
breeze was shepherding big clouds across the 
sky. Too often for my liking — and I dare 
say for that of the smugglers — the moon 
shone, clear and luminous, but now and 
again a long rack would blot it out and for 

that time would make the night seem darker 
than pitch itself. 

The second entrance to the chateau was 
approached by a little lane from which a 
second drive curled between ranks of old 
elms up to the stable-yard. Old, iron gates 
closed this drive to the lane, but, though the 
chain that locked them might not have been 
undone for twenty years, I had marked the 
grease upon their hinges, and I knew that, 
when they swung open, they would do so 
without a sound. And that is not the way 
of gates that are never used. Besides, I 
had seen the mark of a tire in the little 

Now whether the gates would be opened, 
before the car left the stables, I could not 
tell : but, in any event, so narrow was the 
lane that the turning out of the drive was 
very sharp and would have to be taken 
slowly and with the greatest care. My 
plan was, therefore, to lie hid within the 
gates and to paint the off hind wheel-cap 
either while the gates were being opened, 
or as the car was turning into the lane. 

When it was dark, I left Eouen, taking 
the road to the coast. 

We were still five miles from the chateau 
and had not yet reached the point at which 
we were intending to leave the car, when 
one of my headlights failed. 

I had descended, to see what the trouble 
might be, when a car which was coming 
towards me began to slow down and, when 
it was almost abreast of me, came to rest. 
Very civilly its driver inquired if I needed 
his help. I thanked him and told him 
' No.' As we were speaking, another car 
passed between us, going my way. Its 
driver slowed down, in order to make the 
passage, but did not stop, and I remember 
mentally contrasting his manner with the 
courtesy of the first. Then I re-entered my 
car and went my way. 

Four hours later, after a weary vigil in 
long, wet grass, at the edge of the second 
drive, my patience was at length rewarded. 

A girl approached from the stables and 
opened the old, iron gates. As she did so, 
an engine started, back in the stable-yard. 

The girl passed into the lane, and I heard 
the car enter the drive. 

Mercifully, the moon was hidden, and at 
once I moved to the gate. 

The car approached, but its driver ap- 
peared to be awaiting some sign. 

Then a torch flashed from the lane. 

Instantly the car slid forward, and, as it 
turned out of the gateway, I swept my 



paint-brush across the big, flat cap of its 
off hind wheel. 

I had no time to withdraw, but lay still, 
flat on my face ; and, as she was closing the 
gates, the girl's foot touched my chin, and, 
had her skirt been less short, it must have 
brushed my head. 

And there our run of luck came to an end, 
for the next morning my lieutenant reported 
that the ^<;ar had been unladen in the open, 
behind a barn and that, while One smuggler 
kept strict watch, the moon had lighted the 
business from first to last, so that to come 
any nearer than twenty-five yards had been 
out of the question. 

This was a bad failure, but, though I had 
not much hope, I determined to wait -at 
Rouen, and see if the depot was closed. It 
was just possible that the meaning of the 
paint on the wheel-cap, though this was 
bound to be noticed, might not be under- 
stood, and that, if we bided our time, we 
might have another chance. 

So I issued my orders accordingly and 

went to bed. 

^ :^ * ^ * 

On the following day I had just emerged 
from the cathedral, where, for want of 
something better to do, I had been observ- 
ing the tombs, when I noticed some con- 
fusion where a street ran into the square. 

The horse of a cart was jibbing and, since 
the French are vile horsemasters and there 
was traffic to spare, was like to do some 
damage before he had recovered his wits. 
Indeed, as I came up, the cart was within a 
hand's-breadth of a big, black car which was 
standing unattended in front of a shop. 

To save a collision was impossible, but I 
managed to quiet the poor animal, before 
the cart had done more than damage a wing. 

Then the police came up and told me that 
I was to blame for leaving my car. 

" It's not my car," I said, *' but whoever 
owns it has a claim against that man." I 
pointed to the driver of the horse. " And 
if you do your duty, you'll take his name and 

At that, they shrugged their shoulders and 
turned away, and I was examining the wing, 
when the wheel-cap caught my eye. 

Clean across this lay a smear of bright red 

I looked up to see Miss Landfall on the 
pavement beyond. 

" Diana ! " I cried. " Diana ! " And 
took off my hat. 

She regarded me steadily from the farther 
side of the car. 

*' I see you're a man of your word,"' she- 

I stared at her. 

" What do you mean ? " 

" You know what I mean." 

** I do not know," said I. 

She made a gesture of contempt. 

" You made me a promise," she said. 

" Which I have most faithfully fcej^." 

Her gray eyes narrowed. 

" On Monday, under pretence of house- 
hunting, you questioned the servants of a 
place Hear which I live : two nights ago I 
passed you in the road a mile or so from 
my home : this morning I come upon you, 
examining my car." 

I put a hand to my head. 

" Your car ? " I said dazedly. 

The scorn went out of her eyes, and a 
puzzled look came in. 

" Didn't you know it was mine ? " 

With my eyes on the smear of red paint — 

" No," I said slowly, ** I did not know it 
was yours." Then I returned to her, and 
for a long moment we looked each other in 
the eyes. 


" Why are you here ? " she said. 

I took off my wrist- watch and passed it, 
face uppermost, across the car. 

For a moment she stared at it. Then she 
put out her hand. 

She looked at the face of the watch and 
then at me. 

" Turn it over," said I. 

On the back, well done in enamel, was the 
King of Spades. 

I 'thought she would never look up. 

When she did, she was very pale. 

" I understand," she said quietly. And 
then, " And I beg your pardon." 

I bowed, and the wrist-watch passed. 

*' Will you give me a lift ? " I said. 

** As you please." 

I entered the car and she took her seat at 
the wheel. 

" To the police-station ? " she said, with 
half a laugh. 

" No," said I. " To the hotel, where I 
set you down. If you will allow me, I 
should like to give you lunch." 


*' You will please understand, Diana, three 
very important things. The first is that I 
am responsible to no man and that whether 
I call in the police or do not call them in is 
entirely my affair. I am in receipt of no 
pay and under no obligation. Secondly, 



whatever the result of this interview, your 
depot is going to close. Thirdly, you are 
free to get up from this table and go your 

" Thank you," she said. *' Go on." 

*' I take it," I said, '' that the cat is out 
of the bpg." 

'' What do you mean ? " 

** I assume that you sent me away because 
you didn't wish me to know how you were 

She nodded. 

" I suppose so," she said wearily. " When 
we met I was going to Lyons, to pick up some 

" Why are you doing this ? " 

She shrugged her shoulders. 

" My two brothers and I have got to live. 
We were bred to be rich, but our father 
married again and, when he died, we were 
left. They tried to get work in England for 
eighteen months, and then I sold my jewels 
and we started running silk. I'm not 
defending myself: I'm stating facts." 

" Did you think I'd think less of you, 
Diana, if I knew the truth ?" 

*' I didn't think of you at all," said Diana. 
" But I didn't want any odd stranger to 
know my job." 

" Naturally enough," said I, and fell to 

For the rest of the meal we spoke hardly 
at all. 

Coffee was brought us in the lounge. 

" How old are your brothers ? " I said. 

** Thirty and thirty-two." 

I frowned. 

** England's no place for men of their age," 
said I. " And France is worse." I picked 
up a sheet of paper and wrote down George 
Lustre's name and his City address. " If 
they go to him," I continued, '* one week 
from to-day and tell him they've closed your 
depot, he'll talk to them about Rhodesia 
and offer them two thousand apiece for the 
next five years. By that time, they should 
have made good : and, if they feel they 
must, in another five years they can begin 
to pay him back." 

For a while she looked at the paper. 


" Why are you doing this ? " 

" Because I love you," I said. Then I 
called a waiter and paid my bill. When 
this was over, I rose. " And now will you 
excuse me ? " 

She stood up, nervously, twisting the 

paper in her hands and looking upon the 

" On Wednesday night," I said, " when 
you were closing the gates, you kicked me 
in the face. To-day you have done it again. 
Therefore I place a condition on the otter I 
have made. I shall remain in Rouen until 
I hear from Lustre that the depot is closed, 
but, if during that time, or at any time 
hereafter, you make any attempt to find me, 
the payments to be made to your brothers 
will instantly cease." 

In silence we left the hotel and I put her 
into the car. 

Then I lifted my hat and walked away. 

Ten days had gone by before George 
Lustre wrote. 

... Two excellent fellows, the Landfalls. 
As you surmised, they've not the faintest idea 
who their benefactor may be. Indeed, they 
said quite frankly that they didn't know where 
they stood and were simply doing blindly as 
they had been told. 

But it seems there's a hitch. They said a 
condition was imposed — not the closing of the 
depot — and that, unless this condition was 
^ lifted, they couldn't go on. I asked what it 
was, but they knew no more than I. Well, 
I don't know what they mean, but perhaps you 
do. If you do, I wish you'd instruct me fully 
and not hold something back. It makes a man 
look such a fool . . . 

I drove to the chateau. 

At the lodge the caretakers met me to say 
that Miss Landfall hoped I would go to the 
second gate. 

As I got out, Diana stepped down the 

It was a magnificent morning, full of 
hoar-frost. She was all rosy and glowing, 
and her eyes were like gray stars. 

For a moment we looked at each other, 
with the old, iron gates in between. 


*' Why did you send for me ? " I said. 

*' I did not send for you." 

" In effect, you did." 

She did not answer me, but opened the 

" Why did you send for me, Di ma ? " 

" Must I answer that question ? " 


She raised her beautiful head and looked 
at the sky. 

'* Because I love you," she whispered. 

' What odds did Aunt give you ? ' * I'm almost inclined to go to London, after all ! You're so clever I ' 




^HE worst of the country," said he, " Oh, it's true — but not * final. If she 

staring gloomily at the rain which finds I'm out " 

swept across the lawn on to the *' She'll get out ? And, of course, it'll 

windows, " is that, when there's nothing to get out ! " 

do, there's nothing else to do." " Oh, get out yourself ! " she moaned. 

" London's different," she yawned or '' But why not London ? More cheerful 

sighed — or mixed the processes. than corpsing here ! " 

" Let's go there ! It's only about four " Is that how you'd describe your after- 
o'clock ; we could get there, dine, dance, noon with me ? " 

and be back by midnight — or midnightish, '' It's just as you'd describe it yourself, 

anyhow." you know — don't try to score ! Let's go to 

" And Aunt ? " London." 

" She's in bed. At least she said so— I " I don't admire you enough to go to 

mean, her maid " London with you." 

Copyright, 1926, by Anthony Hope Hawkins, in the United States of America. 





" Well, I'm ! " " Features irregular — but attractive ! " 

" Sorry, old thing. Standard's high there, " What more could any girl want ? But 

you know. Do make room for my feet on are you sure of the latter article ? " 

the fender ; even yours needn't take up all 
of it." 

*' These high fenders are a bit risky with 

those short However you seem to have 

got there — moderately intact. Why don't 
you admire me enough to go to London 

" Has it ever struck you that you're not 
very good-looking ? " 

" Man to man, it has ! Florid ? " 

" Crimson ! " 

" And you ? " 

" ' Well, your manner was rather 

ambiguous. And Country's 

not so bad, after all, is it ? ' " 

" How can I be, if you go on looking out 
of the window ? " 

'* How can I look out of the window with 
my feet on the fender ? " 

" You do manage it somehow. Right 
past me ! Without a lingering glance ! " 

" Anything to oblige ! I'm looking now 
— face, I mean, not — er— ^eet." 

" I'm getting on ! AVhat time is 
it ? " 

" What the devil does it matter — unless 
you're coming to London ? " 



*' I'm not coming to London. What time " Kot what ? " 

is it ? " " Men friends ! Rather had yoy. there, 

'* Five-and-twenty to five — if you must hadn't I ? But you're too easy ! What 

" Oh, yes, I must. Aunt 
gets up at five." 

" Is that why you won't 
come to London ? " 

" Partly. What do you 
see — now you are looking — 
face, not — er — feet, you 
know ? " 

" Well, what was it you 
said about yourself just now 1 " 

" Irregular, but attractive. Features, 
course, not " 

"'Pretty tone that clock has — 

striking five ! Aunt gave me five 

to one about it ! Time limit — one 

hour I ' " 

time is it ? " 
" Look at the clock for yourself — 
there — above your feet." 

" Twenty to ! Well, shall we get a 
move on ? " 

" Girl of girls ! I'll order the car 1 " 
" I don't mean a move to London. 
V You can go by yourself— if you want 

^ to." 

" Won't you mivss me ? " 
" Not unless something happens to remind 
of me of you." ^^ 

" Something like what i 



" Sometliing like a fender with room for 
my feet." 

" Bet'ter have two fenders, hadn't we ? " 

" Where ? In this room ? " 

" No, presently — in another. It's a quar- 
ter to." 

" You seem to be looking at the clock 
too ! " 

" What odds did Aunt give you ? " 

" I'm almost inclined to go to London, 
after all ! You're so clever ! " 

" So's Aunt — I never knew a woman 
go to bed so artfully. A beastly wet 
day ! " 

" Road to London beastly skiddish " 

" When I proposed to you before " 

" Before what ? " 

" Before I did this time. I mean, before 
I didn't — before I don't — oh, hang, I wish 
you'd move your feet ! " 

'' All right. There you are — on the floor ! 
Ten to, isn't it 1 What did you say about 
two fenders 1 Yours off, too ! Poor fen- 
der ! " 

" Are you trying to say that you're — 
sorry ? " 

" I don't know about that. Aunt said 
that when once a girl had thrown away " 

" What ? What have you thrown 
away ? " 

"Is it a trip to London ? You seem to 
have found something else to do ! I really 
didn't mean you to kiss me." 

" Well, your manner was rather ambigu- 
ous. And Country's not so bad, after 

all, is it ? " 

" Pretty tone that clock has — striking 
five ! Aunt gave me five to one about it ! 
Time limit — one hour ! " 

*' And you've just brought it of! ! Splen- 
did ! I say, you are ! " 

"Something else 'to do in the country? 
Worth while ? " 

" Lots ! " 

"So it seems ! Stop ! One from me ? 
Two? Three? There! Stop! Stairs creak- 
ing ! Aunt ! And a fiver ! " 

" Hard-earned ? " 

" Very ! " 

" A cocktail ? " 

" Yes ! I'm rather — aren't you ? '* 

"Yes! Excited!" 


Tj^IVE-AND-TWENTY years ago 

■^ Beyond my father's orchard row 

A cattle -house stood in the snow. 

And plainly on this Holy Eve 

With my wide eyes I would perceive 

A Thing o'er-lovely to believe. 

A Star like any silver bird 

That winged above the stilly herd, 

A Star according to the Word. 

And then I knew without a doubt 

Had I, a child, but journeyed out 

There had been Heralds all about. 

There had been in that very byre 

With Mary and the foster -sire, 

The Utmost of the soul's desire. 

Twenty -and -five swift years ! To-day 
Would I might half so surely say, 
And would my feet might find the way ! 
Eyes grown o'er -wise, will you not dare 
To that small cattle-shed to fare 
Lest you find none save cattle there ? 

O Stable -Born ! vouchsafe this night 
As in my childtime's trusting sight 
Thy sweet Star glister no less bright. 



r! n!lHl'l'l''^K"^- ""T^f '^ ^"^ ^"^ '^1^,^" ^'^"? T'"^^'' ^^^^ '''^' ' ^ «"PPo«^ ^^at otherwise you've 
particular objection to being marned ? ' . . . 'Any particular objection ? ' she said. ' Oh, no I really 
think there's quite a lot to be said for it.' " * * J 





T is a terrible thing," remarked Cecil 
Armitage, *' to have two women in 
love with you at the same time." 

The hazel-hued eyes of the girl who was 
sitting in the opposite corner of the carriage 
glinted mischievously. 

" That is not," she replied, " a predica- 
ment in which I have often found myself." 

" But still," he said, " you saw." 

She nodded her head. 

Oh yes, she had seen all right. A school- 
girl could have appreciated the significance 
of the situation. And this was June Gran- 
ta's second season. She had smiled quietly 
to herself as she had watched over the cover 
of her magazine, the embarrassment of this 
tall, elegant, well-groomed creature as he 
had stood on the station platform between 
the two young and admittedly quite attrac- 
tive women who had come to see him off. 
For a full ten minutes she had enjoyed the 
spectacle of this contentious trio ; the young 
man silent and ill at ease ; the two 
girls excessively self-confident, each so 

obviously determined that the last word 
should be with her ; that not the least ad- 
vantage in this hour of parting should be 
conceded to the other side. And when, 
as the train drew slowly out of the station, 
Cecil Armitage had turned away with a 
sigh of relief from the open window, it had 
been to meet the amused inspection of the 
blue-cloaked, blue-hatted girl who was 
sitting opposite. 

There was a twinkle, a conspiratorial 
twinkle in her eye : a twinkle that grasped 
the humour and context of the situation : 
a twinkle that seemed to say : "Of course 
all this must be very embarrassing for you, 
but you can scarcely expect an onlooker 
not to be amused." And because it had 
been a friendly twinkle, and because the 
compartment had been empty, and because it 
is often easier to talk intimately to a com- 
plete stranger, to a person that one has never 
met before and never expects to see again, 
than to an acquaintance who may at a later 
date take advantage of one's confidences, he 




had spoken with the frank openness of a 
lifetime's friendship. 

" It's not, you see,'' he went on, " as 
though they really cared particularly about 
me. They've been rivals in everything 
since they were children : in the nursery 
and at school, and now in this. I matter 
about as much to them as the prize in a 
race matters. It's not the winning of 
an imitation silver cup that counts, but 
the getting to the tape before the other 
fellow. TTiat's what I am to them, the 
prize at the end of a race. Which is all," 
he concluded, " very disturbing for a man 
of peace." 

She laughed at that ; a merry, clear- 
toned laugh that crinkled deliciously the 
skin about her nose. 

" Then I should recommend you," she 
said, " to make your choice between them 
very quickly." 

He shook his head. 

*' It wouldn't do. It would only make 
things worse. If one happens, you see," 
he explained, " to like them both." 

She raised her eyebrows. 

" Like ? " she said. " Not more than 
like ? " 

" I never get a chance of more than liking 
them. I never see them apart. They 
won't allow me to. They spend their whole 
day shadowing one another." 

" But if you were to marry one of them ? " 
she suggested. 

" Whichever one I were not to marry, 
would make life unendurable for both of 

She laughed again, and as he saw the 
hazel lights break and scatter in her eyes, 
the smooth cheek dimple and the white 
teeth gleam between the parted lips, he 
reflected that it was a pity that the prox- 
imity of his destination precluded longer 
enjoyment of so pretty a picture. 

" But otherwise," she said, '* I suppose 
you've no particular objection to being 
married ? " 

It was on the tip of his tongue to make the 
retort that he had made so often in the 
past to the interested persons who had 
pressed on him the advantage of marriage. 
" I am a man of peace," he had said smil- 
ingly. " A lazy, unambitious, perhaps 
rather worthless person. But I'm very 
happy with my dances and clubs and parties. 
I'm better left to them." It was on the 
tip of his tongue to make that old, that 
familiar answer. But in the presence of 
this disquietingly charming girl, whose eyes 

beneath the low brim of her cloche hat 
were smiling roguishly, he was overcome 
by an unaccountable dissatisfaction with 
that life of fox-trots and tea-parties and 
card-roomsi^at previously he had found so 
satisfying • 

" Any p^Scular objection to being mar- 
ried ? " he heard himself repeating. *' Oh 
no, I think there's really quite a lot to be 
said for it." 

* * :{: Hs * 

Slowly the train drew up at Overmantle 

" And here," he said regretfully, " I get 

'* As do I also," she replied. 

" Then perhaps . . ." he began. 

But at that precise instant a cheery sun- 
tanned face was thrust into the window, 
and the genial voice of Kaymond Echersley 
was shouting : " Ah, there you are ! But 
I didn't know you knew each other ! " 

There is only one word that can describe 
the conformation at that moment of Cecil's 
features. It was quite unabashedly a gape. 

" What ! " he exclaimed. " Are you 
going to Overmantle Hall ? " 

Again the smooth skin about her nose 
was crinkled, and in her eyes the hazel- 
coloured lights were shaken. 

*' We are, it seems," she murmured, " to 
be fellow-guests." 

In a dream he followed her out upon 
the platform ; in a dream he heard Ray- 
mond saying : " The car's outside, June ; 
if you go through to it, we'll grapple 
with the luggage " ; in a dream he felt his 
arm being taken ; in a dream listened to a 
burbled and excited whispering in his 

" My word, but it's good to see you," 
Raymond Echersley was saying. " You 
can't think how braced I was when they 
told me you could manage it. It's going 
to make all the difference to me." 

Cecil Armitage smiled vaguely. 

*' It's very nice of you," he murmured. 

" And it's a bit of luck your coming down 
together," Raymond was continuing. " It'll 
make things so much easier. You guessed, 
of course, why you were invited, I suppose ? " 

Cecil Armitage shook his head. Things 
were happening too quickly — ^that exacting 
ten minutes at the station ; the discovery 
that his disturbingly attractive companion 
was to be a fellow-guest ; the flatteringly 
effusive welcome from a man that he was in 
the habit of meeting every day ; and then, 
finally, this surprising question. - Why had he 



been asked down ? He knew why lie had 
accepted the invitation, he had wanted a 
week's rest from those tenacious women. 
But as to any especial reason for his receiv- 
ing it . . . why, after all, did anyone 
get asked to country houses, if it wasn't 
because one's hosts thought one would help 
make the party go ? But Raymond Echer- 
sley was busy with explanations. 

" I wangled it with the old lady," he 
was saying. " I told her you were the 
very person to keep everyone in a good 
humour, to smooth over moments ; the 
man of peace, I told her, which of course, 
old chap, you are. And I'm delighted 
that you are here. But that isn't the real 
reason that you're here." 

"No? " Cecil interjected weakly. 
" No," Raymond repeated firmly. " It's 
to do with June." 
" June ? " 

"Yes. June Granta, the girl you trav- 
elled down with." 
" Oh yes, I see." 

" And the point is, old fellow, that I'm 
really fearfully struck on her." 

" So " 

" Exactly. And I want to bring her 
up to the scratch during the week. I 

know she likes me. Only " he paused, 

" there's that wretched cousin of mine, 
Arthur Prendergast ; she rather likes him 

Cecil blinked his eyes and drew a long 
breath in much the same spirit that a 
swimmer does who has been dared in mid- 
winter to dive into the Serpentine. 
" And my job ? " he asked. 
" Your job, Cecil, is to keep Arthur out 
of the way, while I make the pace with 

" Ah ! " It came, that interjection, like 
the gasp of a swimmer who finds the water 
to be no warmer than he anticipated. 

" So you see," Raymond concluded trium- 
phantly, " exactly what you have to do." 

Cecil nodded his head. It looked simple 
enough, he reflected, as he supervised his 
friend manoeuvring with the luggage. But 
it was all rather unhappily perplexing. He 
liked Arthur Prendergast, he would be 
quite content ordinarily to spend the greater 
portion of a week in his company, and 
provided he was not personally involved 
in them, he usually enjoyed intrigues. But 
on this particular occasion ... No, some- 
how or other it did not seem quite good 

It was with a distinct forebodmg of emo- 

tional discomfort that he walked out of the 
station towards the long-low-bodied car 
beside which June Granta was awaiting 

From its cushioned interior his hostess 
was waving a welcome to him. 

*' Ah, there you are, Cecil," she was 
saying. " How nice to see you. My little 
June's been telling me you've been enter- 
taining her on the journey down. Now 
you must come and be amusing to me in- 

But although Mrs. Avery Garston's envi- 
able reputation as a conversationalist was 
by no means undeserved, and although 
June and Raymond on the swivel seats in 
front of them were discussing the techni- 
calities of the game that above all others 
he disliked, Cecil Armitage found to his 
surprise that it was to the chatter about 
niblicks and dead stymies that he was 

555 SfS SfS ^ V 

With a crunch of brakes the car drew 
up before the long square-windowed Geor- 
gian house in whose porch the short, genial, 
plus-foured figure of Arthur Prendergast 
was standing, 

" Hullo, chaps ! " he shouted ; " thought 
you were never coming. How are you, 
June ? Looking fit. Hope you are. Ten- 
nis tournament on Saturday, you know. 
Just fixed up some doubles for this after- 

There was a glint of triumph in Ray- 
mond's eye as he handed his aunt down 
from the car. 

" I'm afraid," he said, " that June'U 
hardly be able to manage it. I've arranged 
to take her round the course this after- 

"That'll be all right," retorted Arthur. 
"The Samuelsons won't be here till five. 
You can get your golf through before that. 
Come along, Cecil, and I'll show you where 
your room is." 

In the confiding manner that is the 
invariable prelude to a request, Arthur 
Prendergast took Cecil by the arm and led 
him towards the dining-room. 

" How good it is to see you here, old 
boy. I was fearfully afraid that at such 
short notice a chap as full as you are 
wouldn't be able to manage it." 

The floor beneath Cecil's feet appeared to 

" It's very nice of you," he murmured. 

"Nice of me, my dear fellow! Why, 
it's I who should be thanking you. But 



then I knew you'ld Gtick to an old pal in 
a fix. . . . You've guessed, of course, why 
I was so keen upon your coming ? " 

Before Cecil's harassed eyes the pictures 
on the walls were dancing like the fragments 
of a kaleidoscope. 

'' How do you mean ? " he replied weakly 
and unconvincingly. 

Arthur laughed boisterously. 

" And I thought you'ld be bound to 
spot. It's June, you see," he explained. 
" I want to get things settled up this week, 
and it ought to be all right ; it would be for 
dead certain, if it weren't for John ; so I 
wangled it with the old lady to get you down 

Feebly against a heated forehead Cecil 
rested the back of a limp hand. 

" And where," he murmured, " do I come 

It was, he was well aware, a useless ques- 
tion. A question to which there could be 
one answer only. He waited for it, in just 
such a spirit of hopeless anticipation as 
the schoolboy who is to receive six shivers 
between the third and fourth strokes of the 

It came breezily and irrevocably. 

" Your job, my dear fellow ? Why, to 
keep my poor cousin out of the way while 
I make the running." 


With clenched J&sts and an unsteaidy jaw, 
in such a mood of desperate courage as in 
a blinding light one walks down the pavilion 
steps to face on a worn wicket a fast and 
erratic bowler, Cecil Armitage at a quarter 
to eight that night walked down the stairs 
towards the drawing-room. The hour of 
trial had, he knew, begun. 

" This is going to be," he thought, " about 
the worst evening of my life." 

It opened, however, less ominously than 
he had expected. The drawing-room was 
practically empty, and his heart gave a 
leap of pleasure at the sight of June Granta 
standing apart from the others beside the 
mantelpiece. Since their arrival at Over- 
mantle he had not exchanged a word with 
her. She had played tennis after tea and 
golf before it, and during lunch and tea 
a series of proprietary conversations had 
divided them. 

Her eyes twinkled as he came towards 

But the sentence of welcome that was to 
pay tribute to her frock's success, was never 
uttered. As his lips were about to frame 

the opening syllables he heard behind him 
the sound of footsteps, a heavy hand de- 
scended on his shoulder, and the cheerful 
but compelling voice of Arthur Prendergast 
was saying : 

" Ah, there you are, Cecil, Raymond's 
looking for you somewhere." 

Cecil Armitage turned petulantly towards 

" Well, I suppose he'll find me here in 
time, won't he ? " 

But Arthur Prendergast was no casual 

"As a matter of fact," he said, ** I 
think he was going towards the billiard- 
room. I believe it was about something 
rather important." 

There was no questioning the implica- 
tion of the remark. Cecil was perfectly 
aware that he was being given an excuse 
to leave Arthur and June together. For 
a moment it occurred to him to resist. 
June looked so entrancingly delightful in the 
terraced flounces of grey-green marocain. 
But he was a man of peace, unfitted for 
contention. He turned a despairing glance 
to the hazel eyes that were twinkling ro- 
guishly ; then murmured an excuse and 

He did not find Raymond in the billiard- 
room. He had never seriously expected 
to, but he met him on his return at the 
foot of the stairs, hurrying towards the 

" Where's June ? " Raymond asked him. 

Cecil pointed over his shoulder. 

" In there," he said. 

" Alone ? " 

He shook his head. 

" Arthur's with her." 

An angry frown creased the smooth 
surface of Raymond's forehead. 

" Alone, with Arthur ; but, my dear fellow, 
how could you be so insane as to leave them 
there ? " 

*' He said you wanted me." 

The explanation was received with a 
pityingly impatient smile. 

" You poor fool,'.' said Raymond. ** As 
though you couldn't see through that 
game ! " 

" But . . . " 

*' There's no but. You've made a mis- 
take that I shouldn't have thought a baby 
capable of. You'd better remedy it as 
quickly as you can by getting Arthur out of 
the drawing-room and leaving the coast 
free for me." 

"But I don't see . . ." 



" Now, now, now ! " 
*' I must give some excuse, though,'' 
wailed Cecil. 

" Oh, say that his aunt wants him to 
mix the cocktails. Get busy." 

" And I came here," reflected Cecil, " for 
mental peace." 

Still, there was nothing for it. And on 
the whole it was less easy to argue than 
to let himself be propelled towards the 
door. But he could not pretend that he 
felt anything but wretched as he walked 
across the drawing-room floor towards the 
two figures by the mantelpiece. 

It was with a sour look that Arthur 
turned towards him. 

" Yes ? " he said fretfully. '' What is 
it ? Couldn't you find him in the billiard- 
room ? I should try the conservatory." 
And as though in dismissal, he turned 
back towards June Granta. 

But the knowledge that Raymond was 
waiting in the hall made Cecil resolute. 

" Your aunt," he announced firmly, 
*' wished me to tell you that she'ld like you 
to mix the cocktails for her this evening." 
" My aunt ... the cocktails ? " 
" She said," he hurried on, " that she'ld 
like you to get to work on them as soon as 

For a moment Arthur hesitated ; and 
in June's eyes as she looked up at Cecil 
there flickered momentarily and reassur- 
ingly that conspiratorial smile that he had 
seen there in the railway train ; the smile 
that seemed to say : *' Of course, all this 
must be very embarrassing for you, but 
you can scarcely expect an onlooker not to 
be amused." 

" Your aunt said," Cecil continued, in- 
spired suddenly into an improvisation of 
convincing detail, " that she prefers peach 
to Angostura bitters. Shall we push along 
to it ? " 

But still Arthur hesitated. 
" I can't leave June alone," he explained. 
At that moment, however, Raymond 
Echersley came breezily into the room. 

'' That's all right," he said. *' I'll look 
after June ; you go and grapple with the 
cocktails. And you might see, Cecil," he 
added, as he took Arthur's place against 
the mantelpiece, "that they aren't too 

The moment they were in the hall, 
Arthur turned angrily on Cecil. 

"My good fool," he said. "What do 
you mean by it ? " 
" Mean by what ? " 

" By taking me away and leaving Ray- 
mond alone with her ? " 

" Your aunt asked me." 

" Never mind my aunt." 

" But she is my hostess," Cecil retorted, 
" and it's not my fault if she thinks you 
shake a cocktail better than Raymond 

The appeal to his friend's vanity was 
not, however, particularly successful. 

" You've messed things up pretty effect- 
ively," he grumbled. " For heaven's sake 
show more sense next time." 

Cecil Armitage had been correct in his 
forebodings. It was a wretched evening. 

The dinner was as varied as it was admir- 
able. The champagne that accompanied it 
had been bottled in '06. Down the length 
of the long table the chattering anima- 
tion never flagged. But for Cecil, over 
its coloured gaiety hung the grey menace 
of the diplomatic passage that must 
inevitably succeed it. The moment that 
dinner was at an end both Raymond and 
Arthur would be expecting him to rid 
June of the presence of the other. One 
of them he would be certain to infuriate. 
Most probably it would be both. That 
was what usually did happen after all, 
on such occasions. And it was most 
annoying. They were both equally old 
friends of his. He could ill spare either. 

For a man of peace it was a highly dis- 
quieting situation. 

It turned out as he had expected ; on 
the way upstairs, Arthur Prendergast 
touched him on the arm. 

" Get Raymond out of the way," he said. 

" If I can," Cecil promised. 

" If you can ? " Arthur retorted. " Why, 

it's the easiest of jobs. Challenge him to 

billiards. Fix it up now, before he gets 

into the drawing-room ! " 

But Raymond, as though touched by 
some foreknowledge, was half a flight of 
stairs ahead of them. He was already at 
June's side by the time Cecil came up to 

" I was wondering," he suggested feebly, 
" if you'd care for a hundred up ? " 

Raymond Echersley fixed him with a 
glance of pitying amazement: the sort of 
glance with which a schoolmaster withers a 
refractory pupil : the type of glance that 
says: "Is it conceivable that such fools 
exist ? " 

" I'm going out for a stroll,' he answered 



shortly. "Ask Arthur. He'd probably 
like a game." 

*' I'm like a shuttlecock," Cecil thought, 
*' being hit backwards and forwards be- 
tween two people. And it looks like being 
a long rally." 

Still, the crinkling of skin about a freckled 
nose prevented the moment from being 
wholly disagreeable. 

He walked across the room to Arthur. . 

" Nothing doing," he said. " He's going 
out for a stroll with her." 

Arthur frowned. 

" That's what comes of your idiocy in 
leaving them together before dinner." 

"My:dtir Arthur ! " . - 

But his friend was in no mood for argu- 
ment. ' ^^ - '■ - • ; 

" There's only one thing to be done," he 
said. '' We've got to go out with them. 
Get busy now." > ; r 

" Over the net again," thought Cecil, 
but he walked back not too reluctantly 
towards the mantelpiece. - ■ ' 

" Arthur doesn't want to play billiards," 
he informed them. 

" In that case," replied Raymond, " I 
should ask someone else." 

" He thought," Cecil continued, " that 
he would like a stroll." ^ 

" And what," snapped Raymond, " has 
that to do with me ? " 

" Only," interrupted Arthur, " that I 
thought we might as well be matey and go 

The creases in Raymond's forehead grew 
deeper and more numerous, and Cecil 
suspected that behind his back his fists 
were very tightly clenched. " I am glad," 
he thought, " that the days of ducking are 

" And of course," June Granta was saying, 
" Mr. Armitage will accompany us." 

The two claimants for her favours turned 
contemptously towards him. Oh well, they 
supposed he might. He couldn't do any 
harm, the' boob. 

* * * H< * " 

It was not, though, a 
cheerful stroll, for Cecil 
anyhow. Raymond and 
Arthur walked one on each 
side of June ; their atten- 
t i o n was 
turned in and 
towards her ; 
the paths were 
usually too 
narrow to ad- 
mit of four 
-, a breast 
along them, 
so that for 

" The paths were usually too narrow to admit of four walking 
abreast along them, so that for half an hour Cecil walked 
either a couple of yards in front or a couple of yards behind the disputing trio," 



half an hour Cecil walked either a couple 
of yards in front or a couple of yards 
behind the disputing trio ; nor was the 
conversation, if potentially dramatic, of a 
kind to amuse him greatly. It 
was too full of technicalities. 

" Your approach shots were a 
little weak this evening," Ray- 
mond would sug- 

June was in- 
clined to argue with 
him. Perhaps she 
was dropping her 
head a little. 

" That'll have to 
be got right," Ray 
mond insisted, 
" if we're going 
to win that 
on Wednes- 
day week. 
If I were 

"If I were you," he said, "I shouldn't 
leave the tennis courts till Saturday." 

And for a good half-hour it continued, with 
each of them insinuating that June should 

" Raymond and Arthur walked one on each side of June ; their attention was turned .. 
in and towards her." v 

you I should go around the course at least 
twice each day." 

Then Arthur would rally his forces 
with the reminder that the tennis tourna- 
ment was at the end of the week, a clear 
four days before the golf championship. 

abandon the game she was playing with his 
rival, and with Cecil bored and disregarded 
striding a little in front of them or a little 
behind. Then it began to rain — a steady^ 
penetrative midsummer rain. 

" And I've left my cloak behind, "said June. 



The three men turned and looked at one 

" One of us," asserted Arthur, " must go 
back and fetch it." 

But no one moved ; on one point Arthur 
and Kaymond were agreed firmly ; the 
events preceding dinner had weakened 
their faith in Cecil's capacities as a diplomat 
and they were not going to leave June 
alone with a rival and such a chaperon on 
even a dampish midsummer evening. 

" We could wait here," said Raymond, 
*' and shelter behind the haystack ..." 
Then he paused, waiting for the suggestion of 
a return. 

There was a long and embarrassed pause 
before it came, belatedly, and without 
enthusiasm, from Cecil Armitage. 

" If you'll tell me," he said, " where you 
left the cloak ..." The dimple had re- 
turned provocatively to June Granta's 

'* My maid will find it. It's too charm- 
ing of you." But behind the mockery of 
the clear-toned voice he recognised a 
note of comradeship. 

It was a long journey though, in the 
dark and through the rain. He stumbled 
over stones and splashed in cart-tracks, 
and once catching his toe in a root he fell 
flat upon his face. His hands were 
scratched ; his trousers and his shoes were 
muddied ; he was hot and angry and dis- 
hevelled by the time he reached Overmantle 
Hall. This was the most curious rest-cure, 
he told himself, that he had ever known. 
And then when he was half-way back the 
rain stopped suddenly. 

"I need never have gone back at all," he 
told himself. And the weight of the cloak 
across his arm grew promptly heavier, the 
mud in the road more plentiful, and the 
frequency with which brambles dropped 
across his path increased. The last .half- 
mile was the longest he had ever known, 
and when at last he arrived at the haystack, 
it was to discover that they had riot waited 
for him. " If that doesn't finish it ! " he 

Of course they had their explanations 

" My dear fellow," they protested to him 
on his return indignantly an hour later. 
" You couldn't expect us to wait for you 
any longer. The rain had stopped, we 
were freezing cold. We felt certain that 
you would understand." 

" Well, I didn't," he answered shortly. 

He had come down to Overmantle for a 

week of rest from the exacting conditions 
of his life in London, but he wasn't at all 
certain that on the morrow he would not 
be arranging for the porter of his club to 
send one of those "return immediately" 
telegrams which had in the past saved 
him so often from the boredom of uncon- 
genial company. 

A soiled and grubby .figure, with the 
cloak dropping forlornly across his arm, he 
stood hot and breathless in the centre of the 

" All the same," said a laughing voice, 
" it was extremely kind of you." 

And the clear surface of a smooth cheek was 
dimpled, the freckled skin at the bridge of a 
tip-tilted nose was crinkled, and in hazel 
eyes the blended lights were quivering. 
There were compensations after all. 

As he stood at the foot of the stairs to 
say good night to her, that old smile of 
comradeship and conspiracy lingered for a 
moment at the corners of her mouth. 

" This must," she said, " be a great rest 
for you after the strain of London." 

He shrugged his shoulders. They knew 
each other well enough, he thought, to talk 
in shorthand. 

" In London," he said, " one is not on 
duty all day long." 

She laughed. 

" Then you'ld rather be back there ? " 

He shook his head. 

'' Not altogether," he told her. 

" No ? " 

" There are some things that cannot be 
got in London." 

" In which case ? " 

He sighed : "If only one could be just 
occasionally alone with them." 


Before tbe oval mirror above his dressing- 
table Cecil Armitage subjected the sym- 
metry of his evening tie to a final scrutiny. 
Yes, it would do. Gracefully and from 
an uncreased waist the spreading ends 
rose upwards over the turned-back collar. 
For a moment he paused to rearrange the 
white triangle of crejpe handkerchief that 
protruded from his breast pocket ; then 
with the air of a general who is conscious 
that he has left nothing to chance in the 
disposition of his forces, he turned resolutely 
towards the door. The time for action 
had arrived. 

The week was nearly at an end. The 
tennis tournament had come and gone 



leaving Arthur and June triumphant victors. 
The golf championship was beginning on 
the morrow. For five harassed days the 
events of that first evening had been insuf- 
ferably repeated. Not for one moment 
had Cecil Armitage known rest. He had 
only to settle himself in a chair to be bom- 
barded immediately by the inquiries of 
one rival as to the other's whereabouts. 
His attempts to conciliate them both had 
resulted as he had expected ; in a process 
of duplicated infuriations. Two friendships 
that he had valued highly were in the autumn 
of their career. And in the course of those 
five days he had not, with the exception 
of an occasional half-moment of breathless 
interlude, exchanged a single sentence with 
June Granta, which of all maddening cir- 
cumstances was the most difficult to bear. 
For although they had been scarcely alone 
together once, he had been acutely conscious 
the whole time of a growing intimacy 
between them. There is nothing that 
draws two people more speedily together 
than an ability to be amused by the same 
jokes, and what had their life been during 
the last five days but a comedy whose 
humour they had shared together ? The 
time for action had arrived. 

As he walked out into the passage, he 
met Arthur Prendergast. The welcome was 
not genial. There had been an awkward 
moment that afternoon on the tennis courts. 
Arthur scowled, and would have hurried 
on, had not Cecil stopped him. 

" Look here, Arthur," he said. " Things 
aren't going too well, I'm afraid." 

" What do you expect," Arthur grumbled, 
*' the way you've been messing everything 
up 1 " 

Cecil endeavoured to be conciliatory. 

" I'm sorry, but I've been, I'm afraid, on 
the wrong track." 

" So you've realised that at last ! " 

*' But now I know which is the right 

" Ah ! " 

" You see," Cecil explained, " with Eay- 
mond about the place, we've had to play 
what one might call a spoiling game. You've 
been so busy spiking the other's guns 
that you've had no time to fire your own. 
Apparently I can't succeed in keeping him 
out of the way." 

*' You can't." 

" Well, as I can't, and as the whole week 
so far has devolved into a triangular cot>- 
test, don't you think it would be better 
if you kept Raymond out of the way, and 

left me alone with June to tell her what a 
thundering good fellow you are ? " 

He paused, watching anxiously the lines 
of thought furrow Arthur's forehead. 

" It's not a bad scheme," he said at last. 

" It's a very good scheme." 

" It couldn't do any harm." 

" It might do a great deal of good." 

" Oh well . . . perhaps . . ." 


That evening as they were going up the 
stairs after dinner, Cecil touched Arthur on 
the arm. 

" Get rid of Raymond," he said. 

For a moment Arthur hesitated ; then : 

" What about a hundred up ? " he called. 

For a moment Raymond, too, hesitated ; 
then reflecting that as long as Arthur was 
out of danger, it did not matter particularly 
what he himself was doing, nodded his head. 

With a heart that was beating quickly, 
Cecil followed his host towards the drawing- 

There was surprise in the look with which 
June Granta met him ; surprise and a little 
perhaps of admiration, as though she were 
saying : " Now, really, but it's rather clever 
of you to have got rid of them." 

" I was wondering," he said, " if a stroll 
wouldn't be rather pleasant." 

" I think," she replied, " it would be 
extremely jolly." 

" You'll hardly need a cloak this time." 

She smiled at that, as she shook her head. 
It was not an evening when one would have 
need of cloaks. The sky was starlit and 
the air was warm. And the scent of flowers 
was cast like a mantle over them. 

As they walked through the rose garden 
towards the wood, Cecil felt that never in 
his life before had he been so conscious 
of being in harmony with anyone. But 
for all that there was of magic in the even- 
ing's mood, it was on their old note of joking 
comradeship that he spoke to her. 

" This is all very difficult for you," he said 
at last. 

And for all that there was of romance in the 
veiled moonshine, it was laughingly that she 
replied to him. It was not easy, she agreed, 
when one happened to like them both. 

*' You'll never," he went on, "get a 
better tennis partner than Arthur." 

" Nor a better man to play golf with than 

' If you were to marry one of them, you Id 
be bound to lose the other." 

She nodded her head. One would be 
unable to keep them both. 



For a while they did not speak. Words 
seemed such poor messengers now that he 
was at last alone with her ; but the hand 
which he had rested under her elbow to 
help her across a stile remained there as 
they continued their walk with steps that 
were growing slower. As they reached 
the gate that would have led them out of 
the wood into the amber surge of cornfields, 
the hand that was upon her elbow steadied 

" And you won't, you know," he said, 
" have any real peace of mind from them 
until you marry." 

They were leaning now, with their elbows 
against the gate, and her long slim fingers 
were in his hand. 

" Until you are married," he said, and 
his voice was a little husky, *' you're bound 
to go on being worried, and I can't bear 
to think of that happening to the nicest girl 
I've ever met." 

She laughed at that, but the laugh was 
short and a little nervous. And the hazel 
eyes were lit with something that was no 
longer mockery 

It was a moment that many men would 
have mishandled ; would have treated 
clumsily and inartistically — ^not realising 
that courtships must be continued as they 
are begun. Solemnly, if with tears ; light- 
heartedly, if with laughter. 

" There's nothing I wouldn't do to save 
you being worried." Cecil said. " I sup- 
pose that otherwise you've no particular 
objection to being married ? " 

Through the warm and scented twilight 
the hazel-coloured eyes were smiling, but 
tender also. 

" Any particular objection ? " she said. 
" Oh no, I really think there's quite a lot 
to be said for it." 

" Then don't you think," said Cecil, and 
he had drawn now very close to her, " that 
the easiest way out for both of us would be 
for you to marry me ? " 

June Granta gave a little sigh. The long 
lashes of her eyelids as her face was lifted 
sank slowly upon her cheek. But it was 
not in her to answer otherwise than with a 

" I suppose," she said, " it would." 


TF I were to sing, like an ancient poet, 

Your either brow, on its field of snow. 
How you would scorn me, though you know it 

Is such a line, so arched and fine 
Its beauty shames the lids below it. 

If leaving this a little space 
Your poet tries to hymn your eyes, 

The soul and essence of your face. 
He could not say or blue, or grey. 

And so might fall upon disgrace. 

Or if he choose another theme, 
Your tender mouth, warm as the South, 

Its little crooked smile might seem 
Sudden severe, and he appear 

A Vandal trampling on a dream. 

Ah ! sure the safest thing will prove 
That I should write of that dear sprite 

Who counts my heart his treasure -trove, 
For he may knit your own with it. 

And make us both the slaves of Love ! 





THE door of the boudoir opened. The 
Duke came in. The Duchess ran 
forward to meet him and threw 
herself with a dramatic gesture into his arms. 

Neither of them noticed that their young- 
est child, still known, to her annoyance, as 
''Lady Baby," though she was nine years 
old, was crouching on the floor by the win- 
dow, reading, in the gathering twilight, an 
exciting boy's book. 

'' Why, what's the matter ? " The Duke 
looked, he felt, alarmed. 

*' Everything's the matter ! Listen to 
this ! " and the Duchess smoothed out a 
piece of writing-paper crumpled up in her 

"Akmitage Place. 

" Tuesday. 
" Dear Duchess, — 

*' Although he is not aware of it, I am 
writing to you on behalf of my unfortunate 
son. Your daughter has not spoken to him 
for twenty-four hours. The cause of their 
disagreement is her obstinate determination 
that their dear little baby should be chris- 
tened by a very curious and most undesirable 
name. ; 

"Speaking without prejudice, I consider 
that in this matter my son is wholly blame- 
less. It is Lettice who is being most un- 
reasonable. I have been wondering if you 
would write and point out to her that, as a 
wife, her duty is to obey her husband in this, 
as in all other things. 

'' Yours sincerely, 

'' Catherine Armitage. 

<« p.g,_-Not only is Christmas a time of 
Peace and Goodwill, but within less than a 
fortnight occurs the first anniversary of 
their wedding day." 

" Twenty-four hours without saying a 

Copyright, 1926, hy Pmtl Reynolds, 

word ? Very amazing on the part of her 
mother's daughter 1 " exclaimed the Duke, 
putting his arm round the Duchess's shoul- 
der. " I can't remember your ever keeping 
silent for more than half an hour — however 
angry you were with me. And I think that 
only happened once, eh, my darling ? " 

" You never deserved more than thirty 
minutes' loss of my exciting conversation ! 
But do let's be serious, James. It was very 
foolish of us to consent to their living with 
Gerald's mother, even for only part of the 
year. I don't know how to answer such a 
letter ! It's so much ea^er to speak than 
to write " 

There rose from the floor a still small 
voice : " When you do see her, mother, do 
hand her the frozen mitt." 

" The frozen mitt," said the Duchess 
gently, ** never did anybody any good." 

*' As to that," said the Duke dryly, 
" opinions may differ. Just show me that 

He glanced over the two closely written 
sheets of note-paper. " The baby's name ? 
What an extraordinary thing ! I thought 
the child was to be called after you ? " * 

** Laura is only to be her second name. 
The poor little thing's first name is to 
be " 

The Duchess did not end her sentence. 
Instead she said, " Lettice has a fancy for 
something she thinks romantic, and she has 

set her heart on " and she stopped 


" Yes ? " The Duke really wanted to 

" I'll give you a lead. Try to remember 
the most devoted, unselfish wife ever met 
within a play— one who did something 
very wonderful for the sake of her husband ! " 

" Lady Macbeth ? " queried the Duke. 

" Think again! Alcestis, of course— the 

in the United States of AmerirM. 




heroine of the play the children acted when 
we had that wonderfully clever governess, 
Miss Fearsome " 

" Alcestis ? What an extraordinary name 
to give a baby. Still, I don't see why Let- 
tice shouldn't do as she likes." 

" You are not Gerald's mother," said the 
Duchess shortly. " She objects strongly to 
Alcestis. She thinks it pagan " 

" So it is," said the Duke; " Lettice can't 
deny that.'' 

Again a shrill voice rose from the floor 
near the window : "Is Lettice sticking up 
for herself at last ? Oh, mother, what fun ! " 

*' Not fun at all," said the Duchess 
severely. *' It's a very foolish notion — and 
quite unlike our Lettice. She was always 
so reasonable — before she married." 

*' She proved how unreasonable she was 
when she fell in love with that pompous, 
argufying prig," observed the Duke. 

*' Gerald has many good points, James." 
The Duchess was a very loyal mother. 
" Still, he ought to take Lettice's part." 

*' ' My wife, right or wrong ! ' ought to be 
every husband's motto, eh ? " exclaimed the 

" It's always been yours, darling," cried 
the Duchess, and she took hold of the Duke's 
hand and squeezed it. 

" If Lettice is posing as an expert on the 
Greek drama I commend to her notice the 
Mask which was known to Pollux as ' The 
Entirely Good Young Man,' " chuckled the 
Duke, ** and I wish her joy of her own 
specimen ! " 

" I think poor Gerald is a little afraid of 
his mother," said the Duchess gently. " I 
know / am." 

" What d'you propose to do about this 
silly business ? " grunted the Duke ; and 
again he glanced over the letter written by 
his son-in-law's mother. 

" I think the only thing to do is for me 
to go there to-morrow — and take them all 
by surprise. I can say what indeed is true, 
that I have to see old Aunt Lolly. It's 
on the- way, and as she is over ninety I 
always feel anxious about her " 

" I wish I had half her complaint," inter- 
jected the Duke. 

*' — and I'll engage rooms at the Station 
Hotel, so as to be able to see Lettice alone, 
and comfortably," concluded the Duchess. 

** You will be making a mistake, my 
dearest ! Far better let them fight it out 
alone. Kemember the French advice as to 
married folk : ' Between the tree and the 
bark do not thrust thy finger ' — eh ? " 

" The finger of Lettice's mother-in-law is 
already there," objected the Duchess sorely. 

" Then do as you like ! You're generally 
right. Though it's a shame you should be 
worried over such a stupid, piffling little 

quarrel as this seems to be " And the 

Duke kissed the Duchess again. 

" I always believed," she said plaintively, 
" that once a girl married, she gave her 
people no more trouble. I'm sure I never 
gave dear grandmamma a moment's thought 
after I'd married you ! " 

" Your grandmother lived, let me see, quite 
a hundred miles from anywhere, and " 

" — she fussed* far more over her garden 
than she did over us," the Duchess com- 
pleted his sentence for him. 

" Thus showing her sound sense," 
amended the Duke. 


Twenty-four hours later the Duchess stood 
in the middle of the stiffly furnished, mid- 
Victorian-looking drawing-room of Armitage 
Place. The house had been built when the 
now large Midland manufacturing centre was 
a small country town, and it retained some- 
thing of its peaceful old-world charm. 

The unbidden guest felt what she had 
hardly ever felt in her life before, that is, 
rather foolish, as well as shy and nervous. 
Mrs. Armitage alone was at home, for the 
elderly parlourmaid had explained that " her 
ladyship " and " Miss Baby " had gone out 
for an airing, and that " Mr. Gerald " had 
a meeting this afternoon, and would not be 
back till after tea. 

Now, till a very short time before her baby 
had been born. Lady Lettice, with the full dis- 
approval of her mother-in-law, had always 
been present at all her husband's meetings. 

The Duchess remembered sadly, now, how 
doubtful she had felt when she had first been 
told that during each Parliamentary recess 
the young couple intended to live with 
Gerald Armitage's mother. But her daugh- 
ter had been so eager, as well as so willing, 
to do everything that her dear Gerald 
thought right, and as, after all, this town 
formed part of his constituency, the arrange- 
ment seemed more reasonable than such 
arrangements generally are. Also, Armitage 
Place was a spacious house ; there had 
been plenty of room in it for three grown-up 
people, and even for a probable nursery. 
Till now the arrangement had worked well 
— on the whole. 

The visitor began moving about the low- 
ceilinged square sitting-room. It looked, it 



felt, as if nothing had been disturbed in it 
for at least fifty years. In the centre of the 
apartment stood a round mahogany table, 
on which were arranged, in symmetrical 
order, a few handsomely bound books which 
were obviously there for show, and not for 
reading. But, to the Duchess's surprise, 
across two of these volumes lay now a shabby 

At last she walked across to the half- 
moon-shaped window, and, as she looked 
out at the now wintry walled garden, she 
told herself that this, her son-in-law's birth- 
place, was not lacking in dignity, and even 
in old-world charm. Even so, she felt it 
strange, as well as not altogether fortunate, 

The real mistress of the house, Mrs. 
Armitage, had gone on a visit to a friend, 
so as to be absent at the time of the great 
event, a kind and tactful action on her part, 
as the Duchess now reminded herself. 

How amazing that within five weeks of 
that wonderful day — the day of their first 
child's birth — the young father and mother 
of the baby should be — unless, indeed, they 
had already made it up — not on speaking 
terms the one with the other ! 

The tears welled up in the Duchess's eyes, 
but she quickly dashed them away as 
the door opened and Mrs. Armitage, still 
dressed in a modified form of widow's 
weeds, though her husband had been dead 

" The Duchess ran forward to meet him and threw herself with a dramatic gesture into his arms. 

that her clever, self-willed, high-spirited 
daughter should have cast in her lot with 
the man to whom this house was home, how- 
ever good and worthy he might be. But the 
girl had made her bed, and now she must 
be helped to lie on it. 

Already Armitage Place, to the woman 
who stood gazing into the walled garden, 
had become a house of memories. She found 
herself living again through the hours of 
anxiety and suspense which had brought her 
and her son-in-law, only five short weeks ago, 
far nearer the one to the other than they 
had ever been. She recalled the young 
man's pathetic joy and relief when at last 
the two of them, in this very room, had 
heard that the longed-for baby had at last 

many a long year, came into the room. 

The visitor turned round. She tried to 
smile, but there was that on Mrs. Armitage's 
face — a look of settled gloom and of sur- 
prised displeasure — which made the Duchess, 
for the first time in her life, feel a sudden 
fierce wish to follow her little girl's advice, 
and hand a fellow-being the frozen mitt ! 

But she restrained that foolish— she 
humbly reminded herself most unchristian 
—impulse; and the two women, so different 
the one from the other, even in age, for 
Gerald had been the only child of a couple 
well on in years, shook hands with a fair 
show of cordiality. . 

Then the Duchess's hostess exclaimed m 
a low suppressed voice, " I'm glad you have 
come ! I'm very glad you have come, 



Duchess — though I doubt if Gerald's wife 
will be pleased " 

The Duchess was not a tall woman, but 
she drew herself up, and for a moment she 
looked imposing. 

" I think there that you are wrong, Mrs. 
Armitage. I cannot imagine any circum- 
staftces in which Lettice would not be glad 
to see her mother." 

The other said stiffly, " I didn't really 
mean what I said — and you must forgive me 
if I seem to speak unkindly of Lettice. But 
I am very unhappy, indeed anxious, on my 
poor son's behalf." 

She paused, then went on in a bitter mono- 
logue, *' Lettice now declares that rather 
than not give her little daughter that absurd 
name she will not have the child christened 
at all ! I persuaded her, with difficulty, to 
see Canon Barryfield, a most kind and vener- 
able man, who married my dear husband and 
myself, and who was to have christened baby. 
She considers that the mother has a right 
to choose a girl's name, and the father a 
boy's. And now it's come to this ! She 
refuses to discuss the matter with Gerald, 
and I'm the only means of communication 
between herself and my poor son, though of 
course she says * yes ' and * no ' to him 
before the servants. But this morning 
" Mrs. Armitage broke off abruptly. 

** What happened this morning ? " 

The Duchess knew by the speaker's 
face that something really serious was 

'' Lettice told me this morning, quite 
quietly, as if it was the most ordinary 
thing in the world, that she and Gerald, 
before they married, had agreed to separate 
if there came a day when they no longer 
loved one another," ended Gerald's mother 
in a hollow tone. 

*' I'm sure that was Gerald's notion," 
flashed out the Duchess. And then she 
unfortunately added, '^ Is it likely that an 
innocent girl of nineteen brought up in a 
happy old-fashioned home would have 
thought of suggesting such a horrible idea 
as that they would ever leave off loving 
one another ? " 

** Do you mean to imply. Duchess, that 
MY son was not brought up in a happy old- 
fashioned home ? " inquired Mrs. Armitage 
in a frigid tone. 

The Duchess saw her mistake, and made 
up her mind that this was indeed no case 
for the frozen mitt ! So, instead of answer- 
ing the other's indignant question, she ex- 
claimed, '*' I'm far more grieved than I can 

say that my foolish little girl is behaving 
like this " . 

A slight look of surprise crossed Mrs. 
Armitage's pale face. She even thawed a 
little. /* I thought that you would end by 
feeling sorry for Gerald,'' she said quietly. 
Then she added, not very graciously, " Won't 
you sit down ? " 

The Duchess walked across to the fire- 
place ; she sat down, and put out her hands 
to the blaze. She felt cold and shivery, and 
far more distressed than she desired to show. 

But Mrs. Armitage still had a quiverful 
of barbed arrows ready to let fly. 

*' Lettice has 'been brought up in a very 
different way from anything we understand 
in this part of the world," she said harshly. 
" I always thought Gerald's and her marriage 
a mistake." 

How the Duchess longed to say that she, 
too, had thought it a mistake — a terrible 
mistake ! But she remained silent, while 
the older woman went on pitilessly, " Lettice 
told me yesterday that the Duke always does 
everything you want. She even added^ — 
which I did not think a very daughterly 
thing to say, Duchess — that the Duke even 
does things that he knows to be quite un- 
reasonable, almost wrong in fact, if you wish 
them done." 

" The Duke," and this time the Duchess 
again drew herself up, " never does anything 
that he thinks unreasonable or wrong, and 
I should not dare to ask him to do so." 

As the other said nothing, she added in a 
trembling tone, " But no doubt from the 
point of view of our children, he is too kind 
to me." 

She felt so hurt, in a sense so surprised, 
that she found it hard to keep her self- 

Then she remembered how completely her 
husband trusted her — how movingly sure he 
always was that she would do the wise thing. 
She recalled the Duke's words, "I should 
leave them to fight it out ! ". But he had 
not opposed her coming here — as she had 
so foolishly determined to do — to be insulted 
by the woman she now described to herself 
as her detestable son-in-law's hard-natured, 
odious mother. Still, as she had come, she 
felt that she must wave the olive branch. 
So it was in a conciliatory tone that she ex- 
claimed, " This business of the darling little 
baby's name does boil down to very little, 
doesn't it, Mrs. Armitage ? We must put 
our heads together, you and I, and see what 
can be done ! " 

*' Boil down to very little ? " " Put our 



heads together ? '' Mrs. Armitage was sur- 
prised, and indeed a little disquieted, by 
these expressions. She regarded them both 
as common and vulgar, and she herself 
would never have made use of such terms 
imder any circumstances. But, as she bit- 
terly put it to herself, and with a very 
human want of logic, " all is not gold that 
glitters," and she recalled, with satisfaction, 
that the fact of a woman being a Duchess 
does not make her into what Mrs. Armitage 
believed herself to be, that is, a lady. 

*'Do you know what sort of person 
Alcestis was ? " she asked. And there was 
a very unpleasant edge to the still voice. 

" I know she died for the sake of her 
husband," answered the other hesitatingly. 
" Still, I was very much surprised when Let- 
tice wrote and told me that my grand- 
daughter " And as the Duchess uttered 

the word " granddaughter," a word which, 
as Mrs. Armitage said sorely to herself, 
sounded almost absurd coming from the lips 
of such a young-looking woman — Gerald 
Armitage burst into the room. 

He came forward, grasped the Duchess's 
hands, bent down and — ^kissed her. " How 
delightful to see you 1 " he exclaimed. 
" Lettice will be pleased." 

Then he was glad she had come ? Her 
generous heart melted. She remembered 
the last time Gerald had kissed her ; how 
they had both clung together for a moment 
before she pushed him out of this very room 
so that he might be the first to see Lettice 
and — his baby. 

But a stony voice cut across these, to her, 
sacred memories. 

" Gerald ? I have been telling the Duchess 
something of what has been going on here 
these last few days. Will you please tell 
her that you, too, very much object to your 
child being called by such a queer, pagan 

As the young man's face shadowed, she 
went on, " Bead to the Duchess what that 
dictionary says about Alcestis." ^^ 

" Surely it's not necessary to do that ? 
he exclaimed, with a touch of sharp irri- 

" I think it is necessary," replied his 

mother firmly. 

She stepped forward and took up the 
large dictionary which lay so oddly and so 
incongruously prominent on the round table 
which stood in the centre of the room. 

The volume fell open at a certain page as 
Mrs. Armitage put it into her son's hands. 
'' 1 would have read it before you came in, 

she observed, " but, unfortunately, I had left 
my spectacles upstairs." 

The young man cleared his throat, and 
read out, in a solemn voice: 

" Alcestis was the daughter of Pelias, son of Poseidon, 
Admetus, King of Pherae, sought her in marriage. Pelias 
consented, provided Admetus fetched her in a chariot 
drawn by lions and boars " 

He paused, and his mother exclaimed, 
** Did you ever hear of anything more 
ridiculous ! " 

Gerald went on : 

" Admetus, who had been kind to Apollo, when that 
deity was sojourning on earth as an exile from heaven, 
wished to Hve for ever. This Apollo ensured for him by 
arranging with the Fates that Admetus should be immune 
from death if someone consented to die instead of him. 
Neither of his parents being willing to make this sacrifice, 
Alcestis voluntarily gave her own life as substitute for his, 
on condition that, for their children's sake, he would take 
no other wife. 

" According to the most distinguished of modern critics 
of Euripides' s great drama on this theme, Alcestis is far 
more mother than wife. To be fatherless would be the 
greatest misfortune which could befall her children, and 
so, for their sake, Alcestis was willing to die instead of her 
husband. She was, however, ultimately brought back 
from the realms of death by Hercules." 

" Lettice once played the part of Alcestis 
in a version of the famous Greek play 
which was acted by my children, together 
with some of their young friends, under 
the direction of a very learned governess 
we then had," observed the Duchess mildly. 
*' I wonder if you remember Milton's mov- 
ing allusion to Alcestis ? " 

" No, I do not," snapped out Mrs. 

The Duchess turned to her son-in-law: 
*' I expect you know it, Gerald ? 

" * . . . my late espoused saint 
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave.*" 

*' That is no reason for giving an English 
child a pagan Greek name," said Mrs. 
Armitage sharply. , . -, t i 

*' Even so, Alcestis is a name which 1 hope 
you will very often hear, mother," ob- 
served her son, laying the big dictionary 
back on to the round table. 

In a defiant tone he added, " I have made 
up my mind to consent to my wife's wish in 

the matter." , , . , i i 

The Duchess caught hold of his hand and 
gave it a squeeze. "That is kind, nay 
noble, of you 1 " she cried. 

" It's not kind or noble ; it s culpable 
weakness ; and most cruel to his poor inno- 
cent little daughter," exclaimed Mrs. Armi- 
tage with energy. As the young man re- 
mained silent, - Have you yet told your wife 
that you mean to give in to this utterly 



unreasonable and indeed wickedly selfish 
desire of hers ? " she asked, in a tone of 
suppressed anger. " If so, I suppose it's 
waste of breath to try and show you how 
wrongly you are acting ? " 

" I have not told her yet," he said in a 
low voice. ** As a matter of fact, I came in 
intending to tell her now." 

Then the Duchess intervened. " I still 
think it's most good and generous of you 
to think of giving in," she said earnestly. 
" But I agree with your mother as to the 
name being quite unsuited to an English 
girl. What you read to me just now re- 
minded me of a boy whose father insisted 
on naming him Hercules — and who grew up 
a dwarf ! So I hope you will allow me to 
speak to Lettice before you decide on what 
is, after all, an important question from the 
point of view of the one person who really 
matters — and that is — Baby." 

Mrs. Arbuthnot was not in the least moved 
by the Duchess's suggestion, and, as they all 
heard the sound of a motor drawing up be- 
fore the front door, she exclaimed, *' One 
word more ! Before the Duchess meets 
your wife I wish to know, my son, whether 
it is true, as Lettice asserted to me this 
morning, that before your marriage you and 
she entered into an unholy pact that if you 
did not go on loving one another, you would 
separate ? " 

The young man flushed deeply. ** Yes," 
he said slowly, "it is quite true, mother. 
I have always held that love — not a cere- 
mony only — is essential to true marriage." 

" I felt sure that this suggestion did not 
come from my daughter," observed the 
Duchess gently. 

She felt that Mrs. Armitage did deserve 
onfe little pat. 

Gerald looked surprised. " Of course it 
was my suggestion ! " he exclaimed. " Let- 
tice was so very young when we became 
engaged, and, if you will forgive my saying 
so, she had been brought up in such a very 
old-fashioned way. I think I may claim to 
have opened out before her, even then, many 
wide horizons of thought, though, even now, 
she does not always think things out to their 
logical conclusion," he ended pompously. 

'* Your wicked, as well as extremely silly, 
idea of what really constitutes marriage, has 
put a formidable weapon into your wife's 
hand," said his mother dryly. 

** It never occurred to me that in our case 
love could ever die ; and I don't believe it 
ever will," he said in a low voice, and the 
Duchess saw that he became, from red, pale. 

Then came the question she dreaded. 
" Does Lettice expect you ? " he asked. 

And she saw by his look of fear that he 
thought his wife had sent for her mother to 
take her away. 

" Oh, no," she answered quickly. " IVe 
come here " — and then she hesitated, for 
she was not a good liar — " because that dear 
old aunt of mine, whom you and Lettice 
went over to see soon after you were mar- 
ried — is far from well. I'm on my way 
there, and I've only broken my journey for 
a night at the Station Hotel." 

" The Station Hotel ! " exclaimed the 
young man in * shocked tones. " We've 
plenty of room here, Duchess," and he 
looked reproachfully at his mother. 

There came the sounds of the front door 
opening and then shutting, but no Lady 
Lettice appeared. 

" I suppose she thought it better to go 
straight to her room," said Gerald uncom- 
fortably. " Shall I go and tell her that you 
are here ? " 

" You needn't do that. I know the way,'* 
and she looked at him with kind eyes. i 

Followed by his mother's angry glance^ 
he opened the door, and then followed the 
Duchess into the corridor. 

" Tell my darling she shall call the baby 
Alcestis or anything else she likes," he whis- 
pered. " I've been horribly unhappy the 
last few days ! " 

The Duchess went upstairs, and through 
the quiet house. Then she knocked on the 
door of the large old-fashioned bedroom 
which Mrs. Armitage had given up with 
quite a good grace to her son's wife. 

" Come in ! " cried a sharp voice the 
Duchess hardly recognised for that of her 
merry, happy-natured daughter. 

But when she opened the door, Lettice 
turned round, and with a cry of " Mother 1 
How wonderful ! You here ? " ran and 
threw herself into her mother's arms. 

" I didn't feel I could live another day 
without seeing Baby ! " exclaimed the 

Lady Lettice was far too absorbed in her 
troubles to challenge this rather peculiar 
statement. Instead she laughed, and it was 
not a pleasant laugh. 

" The poor little thing's nameless now 1 
Mrs. Armitage and Gerald are both very 
disappointed that she was not a boy. 
They're angry with me, and they show it by 
not being willing to give my child the name 
I want her to have. Yet Alcestis is a beau- 
tiful, as well as an unusual name." She 



ended in a bitter tone, '' And you couldn't 
find a nobler woman to be called after ! 
One would have thought that Gerald's 
mother, who still wears mourning for Gerald's 
father, would have realised thaty 

" Before I see Baby I should like a word 
with you about this, Lettice." 

" It's no good, mother. I know exactly 
what you're going to say. I've heard it all. 
I'm always hearing it, again and again and 
again from Gerald's mother — to say nothing 
of all that Gerald himself said to me before 
I lit on the plan of not answering him." 

" You do not know what I am going to 
say, my dear." 

The girl, for she was still only a girl, 
looked at the Duchess, and a sharp stab of 
pain shot through her hurt, rebellious heart. 
She had felt so sure of the love and the 
sympathy which had never once failed her. 
This was the first time she had seen this 
stern, sad expression on her mother's face. 

'' Well," she said ungraciously, " what is 
it you want to say to me ? " 

" Only this," observed the Duchess coldly. 
*' You have won, Lettice, hands down ; and 
I wish you joy of your triumph. Gerald has 
given in. You are at liberty to call your 
unfortunate little girl by that peculiar name, 
and even to have her christened by it— if 
you can find a clergyman to perform the cere- 
mony. But you will be doing a thing which 
may easily become cruel by your child, as 
well as making Gerald cut a sorry figure 
in his mother's eyes. However, henceforth, 
when thinking of your henpecked husband, 
you will always be able to tell yourself, ' A 
poor thing, but mine own.' " 

Before Lettice could answer there came 
another knock on her bedroom door, and 
Gerald's voice came through it—eager, im- 
ploring, " May I come in 1 " 

" Ye — es, of course you may." 

Lettice was sobbing violently now, and as 
the young man ran forward the Duchess 
pushed her into his arms and, after shutting 
the door on them, ran quickly along the 
corridor and so downstairs, once more, to 
the drawing-room. 

Mrs. Armitage was standing by the fire 
—there was a terrible expression of jealous 
anguish, as well as of anger, on her blood- 
less face. For the first time she felt that 
she had lost her son. Bitterly she was re- 
minding herself of the cynical old saymg. 
And, as she came up to her, almost could the 
Duchess see into the other woman's sore 

She suddenly remembered her own eldest 

boy, the darling of her heart, and of how 
she watched, G3cretly, every girl, and even 
more, every alluring widow, who 'came his 

" Lettice has given in," she said, in what 
was almost a whisper. *' You must try to 
forgive her obstinacy over what was after 
all not a very important matter. She is 
such a child, really. And I do think" — 
her voice shook a little, and to herself she 
said, " May I be forgiven ! " — " that she 
loves Gerald far more than he loves her." 

Mrs. Armitage's hard face softened. " I 
am glad, more glad than I can say, that you 
have shown Lettice where her duty lies. I 
do not doubt that she loves my son, but I 
notice that she always expects him to give 
way to her wishes. She always wants to 
have her own way ! " * 

** Don't you think every woman of spirit 
does that ? Surely you don't approve of 
the doormat type of wife ? " 

The Duchess was beginning to feel as if 
her patience was ebbing out. 

" I don't approve of the doormat type of 
husband," answered Mrs. Armitage quickly. 
And the other felt that Gerald's mother had 

She put her soft hand on Mrs. Armitage's 
hard, stringy wrist. 

" Do let us go and see Baby," she sug- 
gested. Generously she added, " I'm glad 
the dear little thing won't have to live up 
to such a name as Alcestis ! " 


It was early the next morning ; mother and 
daughter were sitting very close together on 
the hard sofa of the Duchess's private sit- 
ting-room at the Station Hotel. 

" You choose the poor little thing's name, 
mother. I don't care what she's called now ! 
The more commonplace and stupid her name, 
the better I shall be pleased." 

" Lettice ! " said her mother severely, '' to 
say that is not playing the game. You're 
not acting rightly, my dear. You don't 
realise how very, very fortunate you are to 
have a husband who loves you as poor 
Gerald loves you " ^ 

Lettice melted into tears. Yet he 
wouldn't let me call my own baby, a girl 
too, by that beau— beau— ti---ful name? 
But of course it's all his mother's fault 

" If I were you," said the Duchess in 
a grave, thoughtful tone, " I should grasp 
the nettle firmly, and call the little pet 
* Catherine,' after Mrs. Armitage." 

" Catherine ? Oh, mother I " . 



'^ I should indeed. For one thing, it's a 
beautiful name. The name of a famous 
saint, the name of a very great empress, 

and " 

Lady Lettice wiped her eyes. She gave 

her mother such a funny little look, a look 

that reminded the Duchess of the Duke. 

" Alcestis," she observed, " compared very 

favourably with 

that wife and 

mother ! " 

*' Such- a nice 

old -fashioned 

name," went on 

■ the baby's grand- 

And then, all at once, Lady Lettice also 
asked the question her mother feared she 
would ask. 

" What really made you think of coming 
to see us now ? " she said suddenly. " It 
seems such a little while since you were here 
— and we are coming to you for Christmas ? " 
" There had come such a change over your 
letters, my darling child ! You know they 
used to be a little bit ' Gerald, Gerald, 
Gerald,' and then they become, well, I can't 
explain, but not even ' I, I, I.' So I felt 
that you were in some sort of trouble. Also, 

I had to see dear old Aunt Lolly " 

" Tell that to — Mrs. Armitage ! " mur- 
mured her daughter, putting her 
soft cheek against hers. " I thought 
I ■ — I feared — that Gerald had written 
\ \ to complain of me. I should never 
! I have forgiven him that.^^ 
^ ^ ^ "It was very wrong of you to 
suspect him of doing such a thing. 
Poor Gerald ! I wish you had 
heard him taking your part, when I 
said how very naughty and un- 
reasonable you were showing your- 
self, dearest." 

*' Yet at first he was quite 

pleased with Alcestis ! It 

was only after his mother 

and that stuffy old Canon 

Barryfield got 

at him that he 


" Men are 

ke that," 

mother placidly, " far better than calling the 
darling after some stupid flower or vege- 
table, as now seems to be the fashion " 

" It must have been the fashion when I 
was born too, mother. Most of the people 
I know here call me * Lady Lettuce.' I'm 
sure some of them think I was called that 
because you aud daddy were so fond of 
salad ! " 

the Duchess answered, smiling. 

" Father isn't." 

The Duchess gave her daughter a quiet 

" Your father is in a class by himself," she 
said proudly. Then she observed, thought- 
fully, *' I think you're very lucky too; I 
mean in your Gerald, my pet." She nearly 
added, " I love him now, though I never 



thought to " but stopped herself in time. 

" We're never going to quarrel again," 
said the girl softly. 

The Duchess murmured just one word — 
** Piecrust ! " 

Then she took out of her bag the tiny red 
russia-leather-bound diary her children al- 
ways saw her use. From an inner flap she 
extracted a much-folded piece of faded 

" I'm going to show you a note," she said, 
with a touch of solemnity in her voice, " that 
your father wrote to me at a time when we 
hadn't been very long married. We had had 
a scrap — not as bad as yours and Gerald's, 
of course — just a teeny-weeny scrap." 

" What was it about ? " said Lady Lettice 

The thought that her parents 
could ever have had a quarrel, 
even a very little quarrel, filled her 
with surprise and curiosity. 

*' It was about some people he 
didn't want me to know," said 
the Duchess slowly. " He was 
much more particular then 
than he is now. Indeed, 
if he was as particular 
now as he was then, 
well, we should live 
a desert ! " 

"As to that," said the Duchess evasively, 
" I'd rather not remember. I was a naughty, 
obstinate, always-sure-I-am-right sort of 
young woman in those days — and your dear, 
kind father was so fond of me ! I'm afraid 
I sometimes took advantage of that " 

" I don't believe," said Lettice decidedly, 
" that he was a bit fonder of you than he 
is now." 

" Perhaps it was a different kind of fond- 
ness, more jealous and governessy, if you 
know what I mean, my darling ? " 

Lady Lettice nodded. She felt a little 

Lettice was sobbing violently now.* 

She laughed merrily, and in that merry 
laugh her daughter joined. It was the first 
time that poor little Lady Lettice had 
laughed a gladsome laugh for— well, quite 
a long time. 

'' What happened, mother ? " she asked 
eagerly. " I can't believe that you gave 

touched. Queer to think that her father 
could ever have been even a little like dear 

Gerald! i u ,, 

The Duchess went on slowly. At any 
rate, on the afternoon of the day we'd made 
it up and agreed to differ, he wrote me this 

little note." , r i i i. i. 

She handed her daughter the faded sheet 


of old-fashioned late Victorian note-paper these lines with a prophetic eye on us. 
on which was written, in the firm, angular ** Your devoted husband, 

handwriting with which the young reader "St. A, 

was familiar : 

" The kindest and the happiest pair 

** My dear Love ^i\l find occasion to forbear, 

<< T XT-' 1 1 1 ri 1 1 'ij -A-id something every day they live 

1 tnmk old towper must have written To pity, and perhaps forgive.'» 


npHEY bought you with silver, 

Loving your whiteness ; 
Loving right Itindly your glistering wear ; 
They took you away, and they loved you so blindly 
They killed you for want of a little fresh air. 

Lost all your brightness ; 
Dimmed every chalice ; 
Languishing, so they said, 
Till you were dry and dead. 
Homesick and wan, you prayed 
Dumbly for friendly shade. 
All the white host of you 
Cried, and the ghost of you 
Called from your palace. 
Haunting the clean -cold air, 
Silent you could not be — 
Still they could only stare 
Treating you tenderly. 

I, who had friended you ; 

I, who had tended you ; 

Root and leaf, bud and flower, 

Not for a passing hour, 

Nor for a night or two, 

Nay, but your whole life through — 

I knew ! 

One last look I gave you ; 

No prayer could save you ; 

Nor counsel avail you ; 

I knew they would fail you 

As day followed day. 

Silver had purchased you ; 

What could a lover do ? 

Watching you borne away — 

What could a lover say ? 


Author of ''Songs of the Ups and Downs," ''Through the Windows of a Little Houscy" "Poems from a Quiet Room," etc. 

' Mr. Dumphry put down on the couch beside him the historical novel which he had just finished reading and 
observed aloud, ' Ah ! Those were the days.' " 




ONE evening after dinner Mr. 
Dumphry put down on the couch 
beside him the historical novel 
which he had just finished reading and 
observed aloud, " Ah ! Those were the 

"" How do you mean, Ernest ? " asked 
Mrs. Dumphry. 

" How do I mean ? Well, in between 
the two covers of this book there is more life 
than I shall ever see, more adventure, 
more spirit, more of the things that a man 
really needs." 

" Dunno," said Queenie. " I've always 
found that there's fun to be had if you really 
go out and look for it." 

" I don't think fun is exactly what your 
father meant," said Mrs. Dumphry. 

*' No, not entirely," said Mr. Dumphry. 
*' Certainly not only that. But these are 
humdrum days. If in London to-morrow I 
even attempted to do one half of the things 
that the hero of this book does frequently 
I should simply be arrested. No, we've 
lost the art of living. These are not days 
for the adventurous." 




" What is it you want to do exactly ? " 
asked Queenie. 

*' Oh, well, I shouldn't care to define it 
exactly, but there is very little in the pro- 
fessional life of a chartered accountant that 
could be called excitement. Nor is there 
much more in my home life here in Tessel 
Road. Mind you, I don't say it isn't all 
for the best. It may be. But there is 
such a thing as feeling your temperament 

Mr. Dumphry extended his arms once 
or twice to indicate the struggles of the 
adventurous temperament to get free of the 
chains of civilisation. 

"I must take up something fresh," he 
said. " I require more room for my ener- 
gies and activities. It may quite possibly 
be gardening." 

*' Well," said Queenie, " I watched our 
jobbing gardener on Saturday morning and 
it doesn't seem to make any particular 
demand on his energies and activities, any- 

" You can't say. Everything depends on 
the spirit in which it is approached. Only 
yesterday evening I got a catalogue from 
a Dutch bulb-grower and seedsman. It 
was illustrated. And when I compared 
those illustrations with anything my own 
garden had to show I was fairly ashamed. 
I felt like taking my coat off and starting 
in on the work at once." 

*' Gardening is healthy," said Mrs. Dum- 

" But not exciting," added Queenie. 
*' More excitement is what father wants." 

" I shouldn't necessarily say that," said 
Mr. Duhaphry. "All I do say is that I 
should like something that would make life 
rather fuller and richer than it is at present." 

And the very next day he got it. 

Mr. Dumphry had finished dealing with 
the morning mail when Miss Stetson brought 
him the card of Mr. John Ranley. The 
card was remarkable only in that it bore 
no address. 

" What's this ? Who's this ? " said Mr. 
Dumphry. " Never heard of the man. 
What's he want ? What's his business ? " 

" Well," said Miss Stetson, " I asked him 
what his business was and he said it was of 
an extremely confidential nature but of the 
utmost importance. He said if you could 
spare him five minutes he was quite sure 
you would not regret it." 

" Very well," said Mr. Dumphry with 
patient resignation. *' Show him in." 

The man who entered was a small man. 

elderly, clean-shaven, white-haired, mono- 
cled, and extremely well dressed. 

'* Good morning, Mr. Dumphry," he 

" 'Morning. V/hat can I do for -you ?" 

Mr. Ranley smiled. " That," he said, "may 
take rather a long time to explain. To- 
day we can do no more than go into the pre- 
liminaries. Let me inquire first if you have 
anybody here who could take your place 
in the event of your absence for about a 
month in the autumn." 

" Yes. Wky ? " 

" Because I was wondering if you would 
be willing to take a little holiday in Russia 
during next September." 

" If the inducements were sufficient I 
might be." 

" Financially, perhaps they are not very 
great. The offer I am empowered to make 
is this. You would state what your busi- 
ness was worth to you for September last 
year and you would be paid three times 
that amount in cash, half before you left 
England and half on your return, if you did 
return. But you would also earn an im- 
portant, though foreign, decoration." 

" Well, well," said Mr. Dumphry, " leaving 
all that for the moment, what am I sup- 
posed to do when I go to Russia ? My 
business connection there is very slight at 

" No doubt. Perhaps it would be as well 
to be frank and to tell you at once that though 
your business might form a very useful 
cloak, it is by no means in your business 
capacity that you will be required." 

" How do you come to me at all ? Out- 
side accountancy, I am a practically unknown 

" That is one of our principal reasons. 
It is to the good that nobody has never 
heard of you. If you go to Moscow with some 
reasonable business plea and are careful to 
conform with all rules and regulations, it is 
extremely unlikely that the authorities will 
take any notice of you. Also, it is important 
for us to have a business man, and a busi- 
ness man of known and tried probity. I 
have not come to you without inquiries, 
Mr. Dumphry. And, as you will see before 
this interview is over, I am reposing abso- 
lute confidence in you." 

" Well, Mr. Ranley, this proposal seems 
to me quite outside my line. I have never 
had anything of the sort brought before 
me. I don't say that I refuse, but I should 
have to go into it very carefully before I 
consented. Now, to come back to the begin- 



ning of things, you speak of we and us. 
What does that mean ? " 

J' The we means a small committee — we 
can call it that. I am a member of that 
committee and in this case I am its 
accredited emissary." 

" Good. What references do you offer ? " 

"None whatever. It is most important 
that we and you who represent us should 
have as few connections as possible." 

" I don't quite like that," said Mr. Dum- 

"I didn;'t suppose, you would. But this 
is not any ordinary business and we cannot 
proceed on any. -ordinary business lin^s. I 
will do the best I can to satisfy you th^t 
everything is genuine and above-board. 
Possibly if I am subsequently permitted 
to give you the names of some of the other 
members of the committee, you will be satis- 
fied. My own name, by the way, is not 
Ranley, but please call me that for the 

" Yes, yes," said Mr. Dumphry. " This 
may not be ordinary business, but I do not 
profess to be more than an ordinary business 
J man. You offer me a fee equal, roughly 
speaking, to a quarter of my annual income. 
How am I to be sure — if I may say so with- 
out being offensive — that you can and will 
pay it ? You see, Mr. Ranley, you are an 
absolute stranger to me." 

" I have already told you, Mr. Dumphry, 
that half the fee will be paid before you 
leave the country. To this will be added 
a considerable sum on accouiit of expenses. 
If this money is not forthcoming, you will 
refuse to go. But I have thought of another 
way' to reassure you." 

He had already removed the loose wash- 
leather glove from his right hand. He now 
slipped off the glove from the other hand 
and displayed what appeared to be two dia- 
nM)nd rings of unusual magnificence. Mr. 
Dumphry at once decided they were much 
too good to be true. 

Mr. Ranley took the rings from his fingers 
and laid them down on the table in front 
of Mr. Dumphry. 

" Oblige me," he said, " by slipping those 
into your pocket. Take them to any jeweller 
who is accustomed to deal with objects of 
importance. Ask him what he will give 
for them. I think you will be satisfied." 

"No, no, no," said Mr. Dumphry. 
" Really, this is not the way one does things. 
How could I devise any form of receipt for 
these rings that would be satisfactory ? " 

" I want no receipt," said Mr. Ranley, smil- 

ing. "To-day is Tuesday. On Thursday 
morning at this hour I shall call here again. 
That gives you ample time to discover what 
the rings are worth, and on Thursday 
morning you can return them to me. I 
said I would prove my complete confidence 
in you — this is the proof. Remember that 
though I am a stranger to you, you are much 
less a stranger to us. Our inquiries were 
not confined to the usual trade channels. 
I assure you, Mr. Dumphry, that I shall 
not feel one moment's nervousness about 
those .rings, of mine. But I think I have 
already had the five minutes for which I 

"Still, unless you are in a hurry, there 
seems to me to be more to be said." 

" No, I am not in any hurry." 

" Very well, then. You tell me that you 
want me to be in Moscow during September, 
and what fee you offer, and you press on 
me evidence that you can pay it. But 
you do not tell me what I am to do — the 
one thing I gather is that there is some risk 
in it. Now that is the very first thing I 
want to know. There are things which 
nothing could tempt me to do." 

" We are well aware of it and ask you to 
do nothing that an honourable man could 
not undertake. I cannot at present give 
you names and details, but I can give you 
a rough idea of what we want." 

" Well, let me have it." 

" There is at the present moment living in 
Moscow a man whom almost all the world 
supposes to be dead. He is of exalted rank, 
and before the revolution was possessed of 
great wealth. He now has taken a name 
that is common enough among Russian 
peasants, and lives in a little shop with a 
living-room behind it on the ground floor 
of a small house in Moscow. In the old 
days his hobby was fine wood-work and 
he became very proficient in it. He now 
makes his living by it, manufacturing and 
selling cases and boxes for cigarettes. He 
has no servant and does everything for 
himself. The authorities know who he 
is and, as you may imagine, keep a 
close eye on him. But so long as he does 
nothing to arouse suspicion, he is safe 
enough. Any letter which he sends or re- 
ceives in the ordinary course is opened and 
read. Now this man has friends who 
are anxious to convey to him secretly a 
message of great importance. It will be 
written in cypher— an impregnable cypher 

and we ask you to take it to Moscow and 

deliver it." 



" It doesn't sound difficult/' said Mr. 

" Alas ! It is not as easy as it sounds. I 
think I should tell you that we tried to get 
this message through once before and failed. 
We were not careful enough of our choice 
of an agent. The letter was never delivered. 
It was written in a cypher which defies 
detection ; otherwise the august person for 
whom it was intended would not now be 

" I cannot say. But he never returned. 
He could not give us away. He did not 
know the real names of his employers nor 
the real name of the person to whom he 
was taking the letter, nor anything of the 
contents of the letter. Nor will you know 
any of these things — at any rate, until your 
return. But this man unfortunately met 
a friend in Moscow, and we know that the 
two spoke English at a restaurant. No 

* I think you will be 
satisfied.' " 

making his cigarette-cases. And our agent doubt something indiscreet was said. Mad- 
never returnedc"^ ness ! You will not make mistakes of that 

" Good heavens ! You mean he was kind." 

killed ? " "I can keep my mouth shut. But why 



should it take me the whole of September 
to deliver the letter ? " 

" It won't. You need not be in Moscow 
for more than twelve days, and it is only 
on the last day, when you are on the point 
of departure, that you will deliver the letter. 
The first days will be devoted to proving 
that you are harmless and even beneficent. 
You will have business to do and orders to 
place with three or four firms in Moscow 
— that will all be arranged for you — and 
you will actually do that business. On the 
last day you will hide the cypher 
letter among paper-money in your 
pocket-book. You will then for 

be able to detect nothing. And then, my 
friend, get back to England just as quickly 
as ever you can." 

" I suppose," said Mr. Dumphry, " you 
don't expect any definite answer at once." 
*' Oh no. Take your 
own time. You need not 
even give your final 
answer on Thursday un- 
less it's ready." 

" You see, I might want 



" ' No, no, no 

said Mr. Dumphry. ' Eeally, this is not the way one 
does things.' " 

the first time go down the street where 
the wood- worker lives. On the point of 
passing his shop you will pause, as if 
attracted by the cigarette-cases displayed 
there. You will enter, haggle a little 
with him, speaking French. Finally you 
put the case you have chosen in your 
pocket, and hand over the money — in which 
the letter is hidden. He will understand, 
but no sign of any mutual understanding will 
be given. If anybody is watching he must 

to talk over the whole matter with one or 
two friends of mine." 

" To that I should most strongly object," 
said Mr. Ranley. " The objection is in your 
own interests. The fewer people who know 
what you are going to do, the safer you will 
be. It is also quite unnecessary. You are 
not a child in matters of business, Mr. Dum- 
phry. You've shown that already. You 
are quite competent to come to a decision 
in this matter on your own judgment. 



Naturally you will wish to mention it to 
your wife-^and, family. And I have no ob- 
jection if you will limit yourself as to what 
you say. You may say that you think of 
going on an expedition to RusBia in Septem- 
ber and that you hope it will be very pro- 
fitable, but that there is a slight element 
of risk in it. Beyond that you positively 
must not go." 

" Very well," said Mr. Dumphry. " I 
have the utmost confidence in the discre- 
tion of my family, but after all, this is not 
entirely my affair and I will observe your 
limitations. You — er — mentioned a decora- 
tion. Does Russia bestow decorations now- 
adays ? " 

* ' Probably not. That makes no difference. 
The decoration, about which I would rather 
not say more at present, will be bestowed on 
you by a foreign country, but it will not 
be Russia." 

'' I see," said Mr. Dumphry. " Is there 
anything more to be said at present ? " 

'' Nothing, I think. I can only thank you 
for having given me so much of your time. 
By Thursday morning you will have had the 
rings valued and quite possibly you will 
then have come to a decision. Good morn- 
ing, Mr. Dumphry." 

After his visitor had gone Mr. Dumphry 
found it a little bit difficult to concentrate 
on ordinary routine work. His state of 
mind was slightly excited and pleasurably 
excited. However, his sense of duty car-^ 
ried him through the morning. After 
luncheon he had a taxi-cab called for him 
and drove off to the office of Mr. Edwin 
Clew. Mr. Clew, with whom Mr. Dumphry 
had already had dealings extending over 
some years, was a diamond merchant in 
Hatton Garden. 

Mr. Clew occasionally carried valuable 
stones loose in his trousers pocket. The 
uninstructed observer might have supposed 
that Mr. Clew was careless. He never was. 
But at the same time he never took any 
care which he judged to be unnecessary. He 
received Mr. Dumphry genially. 

''Well, now," said Mr. Clew. "What 
can I do for you ? This isn't the time of 
year when I want you to comb out the snags 
in my balance sheet." 

" I want you," said Mr. Dumphry, " to 
cast your eye over a couple of rings I've got 
here. They're not my property. They 
belong to a friend — I should say an acquain- 
tance — of mine. I am not an expert in 
these matters and it won't surprise me if 
you tell me they're rubbish." 

Mr. Clew looked at the two rings and then 
carried them over to the window where he 
examined them more carefully. He brought 
them back and laid them down on the table. 

"Well, Mr. Dumphry," he said, "these 
are unusual. I think I am correct in des- 
cribing them as white Brazilian diamonds of 
a very fine quality." 

" Ah ! " said Mr. Dumphry. " And what 
are they worth ? " 

" I cannot tell you that without taking 
the stones out of their settings, but I don't 
mind taking a sporting risk. If you are 
empowered to sell these two rings I'll write 
you a cheque for £1;500 now." 

" I'm not empowered," said Mr. Dumphry. 
" Of course, I don't know what my friend 
will be prepared to do about it. I can only 
ask him." 

" May I take it if he wishes to sell them 
I shall have the first offer ? " 

" Yes," said Mr. Dumphry. " I think I 
might promise that. But I am by no means 
certain that he even wants to sell them. 
I should perhaps tell you that he is a man 
I never saw in my life before this morning." 

" And he leaves you to carry those rings 
about in your waistcoat pocket ! Well, 
I'm not surprised. You're all right. And 
that's a thing that somehow one knows 
at sight." 

When Mr. Dumphry reached home that 
evening he summoned Mrs. Dumphry, 
Queenie and Barbara and asked them to 
promise absolute secrecy as to what he 
was going to communicate to them. 

" It is not a condition which I made my- 
self," he said, " but I am bound to abide 
by it. To you, and to you alone, am I per- 
mitted to say one word about the extra- 
ordinary thing which may possibly happen, 
and even to you at present I doubt if I can 
say as much as you will think satisfactory. 
But you must not press me with questions. 
I will tell you all I can, and if subsequently 
I can tell you more, I will do so. But I am 
in the position of an agent and I must be 
guided by those who employ me. To start 
with, I may possibly spend next September 
in Russia." 

He went on to tell them the rest so far 
^s it was permitted, and no further. 

Queenie said it looked as if it might be 
most awful sport. Barbara said : " Well, 
there seems to be a good deal hanging to 
it. You want to think twice before you 
turn a thing like that down. What's the 
risk you speak of ? Risk that you won't 
be paid ? " 



" No. I satisfied myself to some extent 
as to that this afternoon. It is a personal 
risk if I failed in the exercise of my discre- 
tion and in carrying out my orders exactly. 
I don't think I should fail." 

But Mrs. Dumphry was by no means 

*' Well," said Mrs. Dumphry, " I'm sure 
you know best. But personally I do not 
like Eussia and never have liked Russia. 
My cousin George very nearly met his 
death by eating caviare which had been 
kept too long, and, as it happens, only 
last week I read a translation of a novel 
written about Russia by a Russian, and so 
I do know something about it. The Russians 
are a melancholy people. How could it be 
otherwise, seeing that they drink tea at all 
hours of the day and night, with vodka 
and pickled herrings in between ? If you 
do go, you will have to promise me, Ernest, 
to be very careful about your diges- 

" That will be all right. At the principal 
hotels I believe you can live very much as 
in this country." 

" Then again, tactful though you are, 
how are you to do business with people 
who always commit suicide if they feel at 
all upset ? And the climate seems to be 
admitted on all hands to be a disgrace. 
Yoii can wear nothing there that you could 
wear anywhere else. And how are you to 
speak Russian, when the language is so 
difficult that even most of the actual Rus- 
sians have to give it up and speak French 

\' In that case, I might speak French." 
. '1 Yes," Mrs. Dumphry admitted, " that 
might be a way of dealing with it. It had 
not occurred to me. But I doubt if I shall 
have one moment free from anxiety all the 
time you are away," 

''Well, well," said Ernest, .*' we won't 
meet^ trouble half-way. It's quite possible 
that I shan't go at all." 

No doubt Mrs. Dumphry had learned 
something from her Russian novel. For 
instance, she knew now that a moujhik was 
a peasant — and not, as she had previously 
supposed, some kind of cow. But Mrs. 
Dumphry 's troubles were not those of 

Ernest had a bad night. His mind was 
haunted by two pictures. In the first he had 
just returned to England and was terribly 
famous. His photograph appeared on the 
picture-page of all the newspapers. Armies 
of reporters besieged him, but he modestly 

declined any interview -^ and' started" that he 
had merely done his duty and too much fuss 
was being made about it. His business 
swelled up until he had to turn it into a 
limited company. Finally he retired and 
became the Amateur Golf Champion. 
And very nice, too. 

But that was only one picture, and the 
other was not so nice. In the other he was 
flung down steep stone steps into a noisome 
underground cell, and hurt himself in the 
process. Water dripped from the walls 
of the cell and formed a pool on the floor, 
and from every corner the sharp eyes of 
rats watched him. There .was no other 
furniture. For three days he had nothing 
to eat but a slice of dry rye bread. His 
secret expedition had failed, and he would 
never see England again. He could hear 
the click of the heels of the firing-party in 
the courtyard above. This was the punish- 
ment of ambition. It was too, too awful. 

'After hours of this mental see-saw, he 
fell asleep. He awoke unrefreshed, and 
had only one egg for breakfast instead of 
his customary two — a circumstance which 
gravely perturbed Mrs. Dumphry. 

At the office Mr. Dumphry opened the 
morning mail. The last letter was of special 
interest.- With iron determination he first 
of all called in Miss Stetson and dealt with 
the other letters. Then' he said to Miss 
Stetson : 

" There is a possibility that a Dr. Pink- 
ham will call to see me this n?orning or 
there might be "a man from Scotland Yard. 
I'll see either of them if I'm disengaged. If 
not, give them a newspaper and let them 
wait." ^ 

And then Mr. Dumphry turned back to 
the letter which he had set aside. It was 
from Edwin Clew, and said as follows : 

" Shortly after you left me we were 
circularised as to the two diamond rings 
you showed me. I got the Yard on the 
telephone and talked to a man I know there 
and I don't think you'll be bothered about it. 
" It seems that a man called Ranley, a 
lunatic in the charge of a Dr. Pinkham at 
Weybridge, escaped the other day and was 
traced to London, . where they lost sight of 
him. He was wearing those two rings at 
the time, and he had very little money with 
him, so the fear is that he may have disposed 
of them foolishly. He was lucky to come 
your way. However, I've given them your 
address and Dr. Pinkham will probably be 
round this morning and tell you all about 



This letter made Mr. Dumphry rather 
angry. He rang up Clew at once and thanked 
him. Then he prepared to receive Dr. 
Pinkham, or, if necessary, the whole of Scot- 
land Yard, and to pulverise the whole lot of 
them. Nearly every man is at his worst 
when he loses his temper. Mr. Dumphry, 
on the contrary, on these occasions was 
at his very best. At eleven o'clock Dr. 
Percival Pinkham was announced. He was 
a large rubicund gentleman who looked 
very worried. 

" Sit down, won't you. Dr. Pinkham," 
said Mr. Dumphry as if absent-mindedly. 
*' I shall be ready for you in a minute." 

As a matter of fact, he kept Dr. Pinkham 
waiting at least three minutes while he read 
and re-read a letter which was not of the 
slightest interest to him. Then he put it 
down with a sigh and said : " Well, Dr. 
Punkham, what can I do for you ? " 

" Pinkham " said Dr. Pinkham. 

*' Yes. Dr. Pinkham. Sorry. Go on." 

" The facts of the case that I am about 
to relate to you," said Dr. Pinkham, *'are 
really very remarkable. I doubt if any- 
thing more extraordinary has been recorded 
even in the history of " 

" Pardon me," said Mr. Dumphry. *' I 
have an appointment at 11.15. Just the 
facts, please." 

" Oh yes. Certainly. A gentleman 
called John Ranley, engaged in the film 
business, both speculatively and as a scen- 
ario writer, became suddenly very rich. 
He had been a failure all his life and now 
he had one enormous success after another. 
Unfortunately this proved too much for his 
mental balance and his family found it 
necessary to place him in my care. I 
take one resident patient. The principal 
trouble with him is that he now not only 
goes on composing these scenarios, but 
imagines them to be true and that he him- 
self is actually taking part in them. In 
many ways he is as sane as you or I. He 
gives no trouble, no violence, nothing of 
that kind. Up to the day before yesterday 
I should have said that he was perfectly 
satisfied and had no desire to leave me. 
I did the best I could to make him happy 
and I think I was not wholly unsuccess- 

He paused for Mr. Dumphry to say the 
right thing. 

" Yes," said Mr. Dumphry. 

*' Well, the night before last this Mr. Ranley 
escaped from my charge. You will quite 
understand that if I had been looking for 

anything of the kind it could never have 

" Yes," said Mr. Dumphry. 

" It was not till yesterday morning that 
I managed to trace him as far as London. 
Naturally I have been very much worried. 
He had very little money with him, and 
though he is an extremely wealthy man with 
money to burn, he has no power to write 
cheques at present. But he was wearing 
two very valuable diamond rings of which, 
fortunately, I had a description. The fear 
was that in his desire to raise money for 
his personal expenses he might sacrifice 
one or more of those rings for an absurd 
sum, or that they might be stolen from him. 
I went straight to Scotland Yard, the des- 
cription was circulated, and last night I 
was informed that you, Mr. Dumphry, 
had taken those two rings to a Mr. Clew 
of Hatton Garden to be valued." 

" You needn't say a Mr. Clew. TLere's 
only one in that profession. He's a friend 
of mine." 

" Certainly. I intended no offence. And 
so naturally this morning I have come to 

" Yes," said Mr. Dumphry. " What can 
I do for you ? " 

" To begin with, you could probably tell 
me where Mr. Ranley is." 

" No, I can't. Don't know it myself." 

" Well, well. Inquiries are still going on 
of course. I think there will be no trouble 
about that. Perhaps in the meantime you 
would hand over to me the rings which were 
entrusted to you, and I will give you a 
proper formal receipt for them." 

" Nothing of the kind," said Mr. Dumphry. 
" You come here as Dr. Pinkham. You may 
be. You probably are. But I can't be 
expected to know it. Those rings will be 
returned by me to the man who entrusted 
them to me, or to his legally empowered 
representative, and to nobody else." 

" But really, Mr. Dumphry, if I may say 
so, this is absurd. I can assure you that 
Scotland Yard is perfectly satisfied as to 
my identity." 

" Very likely. It doesn't interest me." 

" Well, suppose I brought officers from 
Scotland Yard to talk to you on the sub- 
ject ? " 

" I don't think they'd come. If they 
did, I think I can promise you that they 
would wish afterwards that they had stopped 
away. However, time is short and I don't 
want to bother you. To-morrow morning . 
at eleven o'clock Mr. Ranley said he would 


return to my office, and, if he does, I shall 
then hand over the rings to him. What 
you, or Scotland Yard, or anybody else 
does after that doesn't concern me." 

" Then if I'm in the street outside at 
eleven, I shall be able to catch him. You 
feel sure he'll come ? " 

" No. Never saw the man till yesterday. 
He's your patient. You ought to know a 
great deal better than I do whether he keeps 
his appointments or not." 

" Well, I shall try it at any rate. Good 
morning, Mr. Dumphry, and thank you very 

" 'Morning." 

Anger is a childish and temporary derange- 
ment of the reason. Mr. Dumphry was 
angry because he had been taken in by John 
Ranley. He ceased to be angry because 
he had kept his end up with Dr. Pinkham. 
With returning placidity he even wondered 
if he had not been unduly brusque with Dr. 
Pinkham. He had. 

On his return home he announced defi- 
nitely that he had given up his Russian 
plan altogether. 

" And I'm very, very glad to hear it, 
Ernest," said Mrs. Dumphry. " This cav- 
iare, unless perfectly fresh, of which no man 
can be certain in a foreign country, is 

only too likely to cause " 

''Yes, yes, my dear. But it's cash, not 
caviare, that I've been considering. To- 
day I've had very grave reason to doubt if 
the other party would — or even could — carry 
out its obligations. The thing has become 
suspect. I may make mistakes in business, 
but I don't sacrifice the substance for the 
shadow. The other side has not completely 
given up hope. I expect one of the prin- 
cipals to call at my office to-morrow, but it 
won't be a long interview. I've come to 
my decision. It was just one of those 
things that look very promising but crumble 
to pieces when you go into them." 

He said nothing about diamond rings. 
He did not mention lunatics. Without 
making one statement which could have 
been called absolutely untrue he managed 
to lie plausibly and considerably. Such, no 
doubt, may be the result of a prolonged 
study of balance sheets. 

At ten minutes to eleven next morning 
Mr. Dumphry unlocked the office safe and 
took from it two valuable rings which he 
placed on his own writing-table. He then 
looked out of the window and was not alto- 
gether surprised to see a taxi-cab waiting 
in front of his door. He concluded, quite 


correctly, that Dr. Pinkham was lurking 
mside that taxi-cab. 

It was five minutes past eleven when 
Mr. Ranley was announced. He was just 
as smart and debonair as on his previous 
visit, but he looked slightly troubled. 

*'I'm sorry, Mr. Dumphry," he said. 
Im very sorry. It's no fault of mine. 
Only this morning a cable reached us that 
the great personage whom you would have 
met on our behalf has passed awav. He 
is dead." ^ 

^^ '"Sorry," said Mr. Dumphry cheerfully. 
'' In that case our business is at an end 
and it only remains for me to return you 
your rings, Mr. Ranley. They're very fine 
rings, so I'm told. I'm afraid this is a dis- 
appointment to you." 

" It is," said Mr. Ranley. " And troubles 
never come singly. Only just now I picked 
up on the pavement outside a brilliant old 
friend of mine, Dr. Pinkham. I've put him 
into a taxi and I shall see him back to 
Weybridge. A man who might have done 

" What's the matter with him ? " asked 
Mr. Dumphry. 

Mr. Ranley tapped his forehead. 
" And," he added, '' it all comes from 
drink. It's the curse of so many of these 
medical men.. I may be able to pull him 
through or I may not. I can't say. In 
the meantime, Mr. Dumphry, I've occupied 
a very great deal of your valuable time. 
I expect to pay for it and I should like to 
pay for it. If you will tell me the amount 
which would be satisfactory to you, I will 
send a cheque on to you. I have not my 
cheque-book on me at the moment." 

'' That's all right,' said Mr. Dumphry. 
" We'll talk about that later. I'm very 
pleased to have been of any assistance to 
you. Good morning, Mr. Ranley." 

Mr. Ranley slipped the rings on his fingers. 

" Good morning, Mr. Dumphry. Thank 

you very much for all you've done. And 

now I must go and see to my unfortunate 

friend outside." 

Several weeks later, when Mr. Dumphry 
had almost forgotten the incident, a letter 
arrived for him from Mr. Ranley. 

" I am sure," wrote Mr. Ranley, ''' that you 
will be pleased to hear that under the care 
of Dr. Pinkham I have now completely 
recovered from my illness. 

'' I realise that it was a very fortunate 
thing that chance took me to the office 



of a man of your scrupulous honour and in- 
tegrity. I realise also that I wasted a great 
deal of your time with my silly scenario. 

" I have been talking the matter over with 
my family and also with my solicitor, and 
we are all in agreement. If you would be 
good enough to consent to accept the en- 
closed cheque for £52 lO^. I could not 
regard it as payment for what you did for 
me, but hope that you will at any rate re- 
ceive it as evidence that I am not wholly 
ungrateful." ^ ; 

Mr. Dumphry did receive it. 

On returning home he said that he had 
had what might perhaps be called a windfall 
resulting from that Russian business. ' If 
Mrs. Dumphry, Barbara and Queenie cared 
to go up to London next morning and buy 
themselves a hat apiece in Bond Street or 
somewhere, , and then pick him up at the 
office to go to lunch at the Splendid, he'd 
be delighted. 

And the invitation was accepted with 


TN days of drear December when the light fails fast, 

Up and down the deer -paths brown of beechen-mast ; 

In days of mid -December, when the light soon fails, 
The Fir-tree of the Forest tells his winter -tales : — 

** Need I no candles when Christmas draws anigh 
Apple-green, cherry-red, or watchet^ as the sky; 

For I thread with my neddles green the starshine blaze, 
I bear on my branches broad the silver moon -rays ; 

I hold the sparkling dewdrop with its colours seven, 
And the roses of the sunset gardens of heaven. 

Yet when athwart the Forest drives the Woodman's wain 
With tramp o* timber-horses and tinkle o' harness -chain, 

Mayhap for the babies' sake my branches could 
Carry a pair of china shoes ; a doll in a scarlet hood ; 

A picture-book; a bag of nuts ; and, slung on silken thread, 
Twin walnut -shells with a gift within ; — a cup and a saucer red ; 

O, though I love no ornament save my brown coneSy 
Gladly will I give myself for the little ones ! " 



ln?f>,r"i!^ human brute, cursing it struck its head heavily as it was thrust out towards the vessel of water 
and the cheetah mstinctively hitting back at its tyrant, knocked against the cJmlti and spilled half its contT^" 



Author of ''Dwellers in the Jungle," "Life in an Indian Outpost," etc., etc. 

THE sun beat down on the wide court- 
yard of the Palace stables with the 
fierce heat of the midsummer of 
Central India. In the scanty shade of 
a solitary babul tree two saddled white 
stallions, their long manes and flowing tails 
dyed pink, drooped wearily at their pickets, 
too exhausted by the temperature to do 
more than squeal viciously at each other 
from time to time, arousing an echoing 
chorus of neighing from the loose-boxes and 
stalls around the yard, wherein were lodged 
the Waler racehorses of the Rajah of 

Ranapur. Occasionally a deep baying from 
the kennels in one corner of the court pro- 
voked answering yelps from nondescript 
pariah dogs panting with lolling tongues in a 
narrow patch of shade or nosing hungrily the 
heaps of refuse and stable-litter. His High- 
ness the Rajah had been a famous sportsman 
in his time, had fleshed his spear in many a 
wild boar and followed for years his succes- 
sive packs of expensive imported English 
foxhounds after jackals over the undulating 
plains of his territory. But increasing 
weight had come with age ; and he was 




getting too fat and heavy to ride now, except 
on a seventeen-hand charger when he led 
his squadron of Imperial Cavalry at a walk 
past the Viceroy of India whenever His 
Excellency honoured him with a State visit. 
But he still tried to follow his hounds in an 
automobile ; and his race-horses won him 
cups at Poona and Bombay. 

Just inside the doorway of a low, thatched 
cook-house among the stables the riders of 
the picketed stallions, two bearded Kajput 
troopers on orderly duty, squatted on the 
earthen floor, smoking their hubble-bubble 
water-pipes and talking to a dwarfish, 
elderly Bheel who, naked to the waist, his 
long, lank hair streaming from under his 
untidy turban, sat with his back to the wall. 

The soldiers had unbuckled their belts and 
flung open their thick scarlet tunics. 

*' This is hotter than in thy country, 
brother," said one to the Bheel. 

" A true word, indeed. A curse on the 
day I ever here. My village stands in 
the heart of the Satpura Forest, where the 
kindly trees hide from us this ball of fire in 
the sky above." 

The other trooper glanced out to where in 
the blinding white glare the little dust-devils 
scurried about the dirty stable-yard before 
the puffs of hot wind. 

" Thy beast likes the heat as little as thou, 
I think. Wilt thou not give him a drink of 
water ? " he said. 

" Let the surly son of a shrewish mother 
scorch, for all I care ! " answered the evil- 
faced dwarf with a scowl. " He grows sul- 
kier every day. Yesterday he missed two 
buck, one after the other, because he would 
not trouble to run fast ; and the Kajah cut 
my pay for it — as though it were my fault 
that the devil-beast, from over-feeding, is 
growing as fat as himself." 

*' His Highness would cut the flesh off thy 
back, as well as thy money, if he heard thee 
say that ; and I have a mind to do it for 
him, thou disrespectful dog," growled the 
first trooper loyally. 

'' Thou'lt lose all thy pay, and thy place 
as well, if the animal dies, man of the 
trees," said the other soldier. " Listen to 
its cry ; it is like to perish of thirst ! " 

A melancholy whine came from the yard ; 
and with a muttered curse the Bheel rose 
sulkily and lifting a chatti, a round black 
earthenware pot, filled it with water and 
went out reluctantly into the scorching sun- 

Chained on an uncovered bullock-cart, the 
pole of which was propped up to keep it level, 

and exposed to the full blaze of the sun, lay 
a wretched beast, paliting, with red tongue 
hanging from the open mouth. It was a 
graceful animal with black-dotted yellow 
skin, a long tail and a handsome head with 
short round ears and a black streak down 
from the corner of each eye to the mouth. 
It looked like a panther ; but the spots on 
its hide were separate and not arranged in 
circles, as are those of the former beast. 
And when its quick ears caught the shuffling 
tread of its keeper's heelless shoes and it 
rose up eagerly with a low whimper, it could 
be seen that its legs were longer ; while its 
claws always protruded and were not re- 
tractile, marking it as belonging to the dog- 
tribe rather than one of the cat-family, to 
which belong the panthers, leopards and 
tigers. From the tip of its nose to the end 
of its long tail it measured four feet and a half, 
and it stood a little under three feet at the 

The deep chest and slender waist, the long 
and sinewy limbs with the hocks close to the 
ground, marked it built for speed. It was 
a cheetah ; and cheetahs are perhaps the 
fastest animals — for a short distance — that 
exist. Although carnivorous, and so rank- 
ing as beasts of prey, they are not ferocious 
or dangerous to human beings, as a rule ; 
and since they can readily be tamed they are 
often caught by natives in India and trained 
to hunt antelopes. 

A year before this poor prisoner on the 
cart had been captured in His Highness's 
dominions and brought to the Palace by the 
loyal peasants who had taken it, as a gift, 
to their sporting Eajah, who^ delighted with 
it, sent them smiling away — only to quarrel 
for months afterwards over the division of 
the bagful of silver rupees with which he 
had rewarded them. Among his shikaris 
(hunters) was the Bheel, who, like most of 
his wild race of semi -savage aborigines, was 
skilled in the way of animals and so was given 
the task of training the cheetah — which was 
named Bijli, meaning Lightning — in the 
sport of stalking and running down the 
swift black buck, the spiral-horned antelope 
which abounded on the plains of Ranapur. 
It had hunted them for its own purpose 
before ; it was to do so now for His High- 
ness's amusement. 

The man had done his work well, but with 
little love for it or his unfortunate charge ; 
and, tractable as its kind usually are, Bijli 
learned to hate its trainer. 

But now it greeted him eagerly as it stood 
up in the cart and sniffed the air to detect his 



coming— for it could see nothing, since across 
its eyes the Bheel had carelessly left the leather 
band which was fastened over them when it 
was taken out hunting, removed only before it 
was loosed to pursue its quarry and replaced 
when the chase was ended. It was mad with 
thirst. The cruel human brute, cursing it, 
struck its head heavily as it was thrust out 
towards the vessel of water ; and the cheetah 
instinctively hitting back at its tyrant, 
knocked against the ckatti and spilled half its 

" Go thirsty then, thou shaitan (devil) ! " 
cried the angry keeper, and was about to 
throw the rest of the water on the ground, 
when he saw that the compassionate soldier 
was watching him from the doorway. 

With an ill grace he placed the vessel on 
the cart ; and the poor beast eagerly lapped 
up the scanty supply and whimpered for 
more. But the Bheel had already turned 
away and, deaf to its pleading, was walking 
back to the cook-house. Reaching it he 
threw himself down with a sigh of relief at 
getting in out of the heat and was preparing 
to go to sleep, wien he saw a man enter the 
stable-yard. It was one of the indoor ser- 
vants, dressed in white with a silver badge, 
a shield with the arms of the State of Rana- 
pur, on his red and gold turban. He was a 
fat and well-fed individual ; and the sweat 
showed on his full-moon face as he came 
slowly across the sun-steeped courtyard. 

In the shade of the babul tree he halted 
and mopped his forehead, as he looked about 

" Where is that accursed heathen? " he 
muttered. "A fine thing, indeed, that I 
should have to run messages like a coolie — 
and to scum like this savage ! '* 

Then he caught sight of the Bheel in the 

" There is the dog ! " he exclaimed. 
*' Lying like a nobleman at his ease, while I 
run about in the sun in search of him." 
' Then, raising his voice, he cried : 

" Ahre, come hither, thou ! The Raja 
Sahib sends thee a message. Come quick- 
ly ! '^ 

The shikari rose and went out grumbling, 
but bent double and raised his right hand to 
his forehead in respectful salaam when he 
reached the servant, who, as one having the 
master's ear, must be propitiated. 

" Ram ! Ram ! Khansamah-ji I (Salu- 
tations, O Butler!) What would Thy 
Honour with me ? " he asked cringingly. 

The servant swelled with importance as he 
looked at the inferior menial. 

" The Raja Sahib commands thee to be 
ready with thy beast to-morrow morning. 
He wishes to show the Angrez Sahib — logue 
(the English gentlemen), who have come to 
the Palace to-day, how we in Ranapur hunt 
the black antelope. He bids thee make 
better sport, for them than thou hast done 
for him of late. Judge, Bheel, what 
importance he attaches to the message, 
since I myself condescend to bring it to 
thee ! " 

'' But, Khansamah-ji, I cannot pro- 
mise " began the shikari. 

''Bus, Hukm hail (Enough! It is 
the order ! ) " said the fat servant per- 
emptorily. And turning his back on him, 
he waddled off. 

Next morning the sun had not long risen 
when a luxurious automobile, lavishly 
ornamented with silver, the raised hood of 
sweet-scented morocco leather, ran out of 
the Palace gates past the red-coated in- 
fantry guard presenting arilis, and went 
through the narrow streets of the town. 
The few citizens so early astir were squatting 
at their doorsteps or on their gaily-painted 
wooden verandahs. They blinked sleepily 
at the occupants of the ckr, then rose up . 
hastily and salaamed — long after it had gone 
by — ^to the stout, fair-skinned man in a 
white flannel suit, a pink turban on his shaved 
head, who sat in it with two Englishmen in 
khaki riding-dress. It was the Rajah with 
his guests. 

Beyond the crumbling city-walls the auto- 
mobile bumped over a rough road, rutted 
deep by the solid wooden wheels of heavily- 
laden bullock-carts, that lay at first between 
gardens and fields fenced by hedges of 
prickly pear, and then ran over wide- 
stretching, undulating plains dotted here 
and there with grazing cattle herded by half- 
naked boys. A couple of miles outside the 
town the Eurasian chauffeur stopped the car 
where a group of men and animals awaited 
the Rajah's coming. 

Six or seven sowars — troopers of his 
cavalry — sitting on fidgety country -breds, 
were gathered around a bullock-cart on 
which Bijli lay, the hood across his eyes, a 
chain from his leather collar fastened to the 
frame of the lumbering vehicle. Beside him 
stood the Bheel ; and, blinded though the 
captive was by the strap, he shrank instinc- 
tively as the trainer raised his arm to salute 
the Rajah when the automobile pulled up as 
it reached the waiting group. 

The Englishmen got out and went over to 
the cart to look at the cheetah. 



" So this is Your Highness's hunter ! " said 
one. "He is a beautiful animal." 

" Was he caught young, Raja Sahib ? " 
asked the other. 

" No, a cheetah should not be captured 
before he has come to his full strength," 
replied his host. " He must have learned 
from his mother how to stalk and pull down 
his prey ; else will he never have the speed, 
the strength, and the cunning to catch a 
black buck." 

*' Poor brute ! How he must hate being 
a prisoner after his free life ! " exclaimed the 
elder Englishman compassionately. 

And he stretched out his hand to caress 
the animal. 

" Khubbardar, sahib f (Take care, sir !) " 
cried the trainer. *' He is fierce." 

But the white man fearlessly laid his hand 
on the cheetah's head and stroked it ; and 
Bijli seemed instinctively to recognise that 
the stranger's touch was sympathetic and, 
much to his keeper's astonishment, suffered 
the caress. 

"There are your horses," said the Rajah, 
pointing to the Walers held by their syces 
(grooms). " If you will inount, Major sahib, 
we will show you what Bijli can do." 

As soon as his guests had swung them- 
selves into their saddles the Rajah gave a 
signal and his half-caste chauffeur started 
thie,car and, with the Bheel walking beside 
it, went slowly along the road followed by 
the horsemen, while the bullock-cart lum- 
bered at the tail of the procession, the chained 
cheetah being jolted heavily as it bumped 
into the deep ruts. 

A mile farther on the Bheel spoke to the 
Rajah, who raised his hand ; and everyone 
stopped. The ground on either side of the 
road was absolutely open and uncultivated, 
stretching in gentle undulations to the; 
distant horizon. Far away to the left over 
the plain a little group of animals were graz- 
ing near a herd of cows. 

The aborigine's keen sight had told him 
what they were ; and, pointing them out to 
his master, he said : . . 

'/ Kala hiran, Ghurrib Pur war ! (Black 
buck; O Protector of the Poor !) " 

The Rajah raised his field-glasses to his 

" Yes. There is a good buck standing out 
by itself. It will do," he said. 

He gave an order ; and automobile, 
horsemen and cart left the road and went 
slowly over the open, halting about half a 
mile from the antelope, which, accustomed 
to see groups of natives passing with their 

bullock- wagons across the plain, paid no 
attention to them. The Bheel went to the 
cheetah and slipped the leather bandage from 
the animal's eyes. 

Bijli blinked in the sudden burst of light 
and then, sniffing the air, looked about him 
as soon as he got used to the dazzling sun- 
shine. Suddenly, even before he saw them, 
he seemed to scent the antelope ; and, rising, 
he stiffened with lowered head in an eager 
attitude, the thick hair of the ruff on his 
neck bristling, and his tail straightened. 
He fixed his gaze on the solitary buck and 
evidently marked him down. When the 
Bheel unfastened the 'chain from his collar 
and he felt himself freed, he leapt down 
lightly on the farther side of the cart from 
the quarry and began to crawl cautiously 
over the plain, which was bare of cover, 
except for some slight inequalities of soil 
here and there. 

Suddenly the feeding buck raised its 
head; and the cheetah instantly froze to 
immobility, seeming to form part of the 
ground as he crouched flat against it. ^ His , 
bright skin took on the exact colouring of 
the dry yellow grass ; and its black dots f 
mimicked and blended with the dappled 
light and shadow of the sun and clouds j 
flung on the earth. , 

The antelope bent to feed again ; and 
once naore the stealthy hunter crept for- ? 
ward, while the men watched him excitedly. 
Foot by foot he drew nearer his prey, taking ,^ 
advantage of every inequality of the ground. 
He got within four hundred yards of the - 
buck before it received a warning from one t 
of the females of its harem and, lifting its 
lordly head with the diverging spiral horns, 
stepped daintily towards her inquiringly. ; 

The cheetah, crouching belly to ground,, 
crept on ; and the disquieted antelope 
caught sight of him and began to trot away • 
disdainfully, confiding in its marvellous 
speed. But the does, suddenly frightened, 
took to flight in another direction in a series -., 
of high bounds that would have cleared the 
head of the tallest man. , > 

But Bijli paid no heed to them. His 
yellow eyes were fixed on their lord ; and he *^ 
quickened his pace when the buck did. 
Then on stiff legs it sprang up in the air a 
full ten feet from the ground half a dozen 
times, each leap covering a wide stretch, 
and suddenly shot away over the plain at 
an astounding speed. But, almost faster 
than the eye could follow, the cheetah flashed 
after it ; and the white men watching by 
the bullock-cart exclaimed in amazement. 

Fast as fled the huiited buck, faster sped its pursuer.' 



Well they might ; for they were looking 
on the swiftest animals that the surprising 
land of India breeds. 

" Ride ! Ride ! After them ! " shouted 
the excited Rajah. 

Before the Englishmen could gather up 
their slackened reins a rush of shouting 
sowars tore by them ; and, huddled up like 
a monkey on a raw-boned country -bred »and 
clinging in desperation to the saddle, for he 
was a poor rider, the Bheel led them to the 
musical clanking of the cheetah's chain 
dangling from his hand. 

Almost before the horses had time to 
stretch into full gallop the tragedy was over. 
Fast as fled the hunted buck, faster sped its 
pursuer. Inside three hundred yards Bijli 
overtook the antelope and launching his 
litbe body in a fierce spring, leapt at his 
quarry and struck it down. As it fell 
heavily to the ground he gripped its wind- 
pipe in his strong jaws. The Bheel reached 
him first and, flinging himself off his horse 
before it stopped, dropped beside the 
cheetah and^ whipping out a knife, cut the 
buck's throat. A convulsive shudder shook 
the animal's graceful frame ; and the head 
would have fallen back, but that the trainer 
gripped a horn and held a wooden ladle 
to the gaping wound to catch the red blood 
that spouted from it. This he offered to the 
cheetah, which, releasing his grip, eagerly 
lapped up the warm liquid ; and, as he did 
so, the Bheel deftly slipped the hood over 
his eyes and fastened the chain to his collar. 
Bijli was a prisoner again. 

The Englishmen, pulling up their excited 
horses with difficulty, turned eagerly to the 
Rajah who had come up in his motor-car 
almost as quickly as they, despite the 
bumping over the rough ground. 

" Your Highness's hunter is indeed won- 
derful 1 " exclaimed the elder enthusiastic- 

A chorus of admiration from the sowars 
welcomed Bijli as his trainer led him towards 
the cart which came lumbering slowly to 
them ; but it was small consolation to the 
captive animal when he was chained down 
again on the rough boards of the flooring. 
His keeper, however, took all the adulation 
to himself and grinned with pleasure when 
he was called to the automobile to receive 
due praise and a handful of rupees from his 
pleased master. 

** Now we will move on, Major sahib, and 
give Bijli another run," said the Rajah; 
and he led the way back to the highway in 
his car. 

A mile on the Bheel spotted a solitary 
buck feeding close to the road ; and the 
party halted while he unhooded and un- 
chained the cheetah. But this time the 
antelope was more wary and bounded away 
before the yellow hunter had even seen him. 
Bijli looked for it in every direction except 
the right one, until the -exasperated trainer - 
took the animal's head in his hands and 
turned it towards the buck as it sped away 
in a series of giant bounds. Then, while 
the Rajah and the sowars shouted at him 
in furious and abusive impatience, Bijli 
jumped down from the cart at last and 
sprang ofi in swift* pursuit. 

But he was too late ; the buck had got too 
long a start for him to overtake it. Then 
with the strange lack of perseverance — or 
wise refusal to continue a hopeless task — , 
that marks the cheetah, Bijli, when he found 
that he had not caught up his quarry inside 
a quarter of a mile, stopped dead and 
sulkily flung himself down on the ground. 

The Rajah was furious. This repetition 
of the animal's recent failures enraged him 
beyond measure ; and he shouted abuse at 
beast and man as he was bumped in his car 
over the uneven ground. When he reached 
the, group of mounted men around the 
cheetah he cursed the trembling Bheel 
roundly and bade him take his useless 
brute home. Then, telling his guests that 
it was hopeless to expect any more sport 
from the sulky cheetah that day, he invited 
them into the . automobile again and drove 
back to the Palace in high dudgeon, leaving 
the sowars to assist the trainer if necessary. 

But Bijli gave no trouble and lay quietly 
while his keeper secured him. Then, as 
soon as he had chained him down on the cart, 
the angry man vented his rage on the luck- 
less animal, beating him savagely with a 
h&avy stick until the cheetah snarled and 
tried to strike back at him. The soldiers 
and grooms saw no cruelty in the baiting 
of the helpless brute, but laughed at his 
blind attempts to defend himself against his 
torturer, whom the again hooded Bijli could 
not see. The kind-hearted sowar of the 
previous day was not present ; and no one 
thought of remonstrating with the cowardly 
trainer as he beat the captive until the 
angry snarls changed to cries of pain. 
Then, when his arm was tired, the Bheel 
seated himself beside the driver of the 
bullock-cart and bade him return to the city. 

But his revenge was not satisfied ; and as 
a further punishment he left the wretched 
cheetah without food or water all through 



the scorching day. Tormented by thirst 
even more than hunger, Bijli lay on his cart 
out in the blazing sunshine, moaning a little 
from the pain of his bruised flesh. In the 
comparative coolness of the afternoon the 
pack of English foxhounds, brought out for 
their daily exercise, streamed past him, the 
elders too used to him to notice him, a few 
of the unruly youngsters standing up with 
their forefeet on the edge of the cart to bark 
at him. He was too sick and dispirited to 
snarl back his usual answer to their daily 
greeting. And the masterless pariahs 
around the yard, yapping their customary 
defiance of the fierce foreign dogs from a safe 
distance, were emboldened by his mood to 
do the same at him ; although as a rule they 
' feared the sight and scent of him, so much he 
resembled those deadly enemies of the canine 
race, the panthers. 

The usual routine of life of the stables 
went on around the suffering cheetah with- 
out anyone taking compassion on him ; 
and tormented by thirst, hunger and the 
pain of his beating, he lay in agony. At last 
the red ball of the sun dipped behind the 
buildings and a faint coolness, succeeding 
the heat and the scorching wind of the day, 
brought him a little relief. Night fell ; 
and the fires flickered all round the yard, as 
the syces and other outdoor servants cooked 
their evening meal, with the hungry pariahs 
gathered about them, wagging propitiatory 
tails in anticipation of chance scraps. In 
the kennels the well-fed hounds were asleep ; 
and only an occasional neigh or stamp of 
hoof told of the racers and the cavalry horses 
in the sables. 

Gradually the fires died out, the gurgle of 
the water-pipes and the drone of talk was 
hushed ; and under the brilliant stars of the 
hot Indian night none but the cheetah was 
wakeful. His eyes stared into the darkness 
as if he could see the rolling plains, the deep 
nullahs, the rocky hills where the days of 
his freedom had been passed. This life of 
slavery was far harder for him to bear than 
it would have been for an animal caught in 
its cubhood ; for he had the memory of his 
former liberty to torment him. Night was 
the worst; for the dark hours brought 
him their call to wander ; and his limbs 
twitched involuntarily with the desire for 

The torture of Tantalus, was Bijli's, when 
the night-wind that had swept over the open 
country bore him, through the stench of the 
stable-litter, familiar odours of the plains 
that he had roamed, the scent of the antelopes 

that he used once to stalk and slay at his 
own wish, not at the bidding of men. But 
when, after it had passed across the sheeted 
forms that lay about the yard and looked 
like corpses, though they were only the 
bodies of men sleeping in the open on these 
hot nights, it brought him, mingled with a 
hundred other smells, the too well-known, 
hateful scent of his brutal keeper, Bijli 
snarled savagely and loudly, until the drowsy 
pariah dogs woke up and barked in reply. 

On the morrow the Kajah's order took 
beast and man afield again ; and the cheetah 
was called upon to show his skill and speed in 
pursuit of the antelope once more and redeem 
his reputation. But by reason of his treat- 
ment on the previous day he was really 
sulky and in no mood to hunt'; and when a 
buck was sighted he paid no heed to it and 
refused to start when unchained. 

The disgusted Rajah abused him and his 
trainer impartially, and the angry Bheel at 
last struck the cheetah a heavy blow with 
his stick. The animal jumped down from 
the cart then and galloped half-heartedly 
after the vanishing antelope ; but he had 
started too late and after going a few hundred 
yards stopped. 

The familiar thunder of hoofs on the sun- 
baked earth came to him ; he turned his 
head and looked at the approaching horse- 
men. Ahead of them rode the Bheel — 
and Bijli knew what would happen when the 
trainer reached him. 

Suddenly a flash of reasoning sense came 
to the hitherto foolishly docile animal. Why 
should he wait to suffer ? The speed with 
which Nature had endowed him would serve 
to save him now from the cruel punishment. 
Why should he endure his slavery any 
longer ? He had never before thought of 
rebelling ; but the fear of pain moved him 
now. And swifter almost than the thought 
the captive fled to freedom. 

The trainer, crouching on his saddle and 
reining in as he neared the cheetah with 
murderous hate in his heart, gasped with 
astonishment at so unexpected a happening, 
then with an angry shout beat his bare heels 
against the horse's lean ribs and pursued the 
fugitive. The riders behind him grasping 
the situation, caught him up and passed him. 
The Englishmen, mounted on two of His 
Highness's best hunters, shot ahead of the 
slower troopers of the sowars and raced after 

But it was useless. As well might shoot- 
ing-stars chase the lightning across the sky, 
as even the swiftest horses in the Rajah's 


stables try to overtake the cheetah fleeing to from him the wild animaFs instinctive dread 

find his lost freedom. They might wear him of men. 

down in time, but in a short run they had The quick patter of little hoofs caught his 

no chance ; and the pursuers, after once ear. A flock of goats driven by a small girl 

or twice catching a glimpse of him as he came to feed on the fallen leaves under the 

topped a rise in the undulating plain, saw trees ; and at sight of them his forgotten 

him no more. Bijli, reaching a deep, steep- hunger awoke. 

sided nullah that seamed the country, With a lightning rush he was among them 

sprang down into it and raced along it for and a swift stroke laid low the leader, 

miles. And when he came up to the level Gripping his victim's throat he choked the 

again, city, palace and slavery were far life out of him, and with red-bedaubed 

behind him. ' -' '- muzzle quenched his thirst with the warm 

He lay panting in the hot sunshine, but blood. As the other goats scattered and the 

with a new-found sense of freedom that made girl fled screaming towards the hamlet, the 

him forget heat, thirst and hunger. Near cheetah tore the quivering flesh and hastily 

him rose up a grove of mango-trees beside a satisfied his hunger. 

village; and the deep shade under the dense Then, when in response to the child's 

foliage attracted him. - He loped slowly warning, shouts came from the village, fol- 

to it and, flinging himself down again, lowed by a rush of men armed with billhooks, 

rolled over on his back in luxurious content, heavy sticks and an occasional rusty spear, 

From the mud huts close by came the sound Bijli bounded lightly away over the plain, 

of voices ; but his captivity had taken a free rover once more. 


\ LITTLE spirit wandered through the world, 
"^ ^ And took a different shape where'er it went ; 
On a poor hearth, like fir -bough flame it curl'd, 
Diffusing fragrant odours of content ; 
O'er each low rafter" 
Its dancing flicker played like fairy laughter. 

It stood a-knocking at a yeoman's door, 
A ragged mendicant with staff and scrip ; 

The dwellers there had never known before 
Such gracious impulse of goodfellowship : 
To each new-comer 

They gave a welcome like the heart of summer. 

Within a woman's garden then it grew. 
The last pale rose upon a wintry spray ; 

It crowded tender memories on her view, 
With hints of hope across the darkening day. 
And soothed her sorrow 

With gleams and glimpses of a radiant morrow. 

Last, it took flight upon a frosty air, 

Transmuted to a sweet and silver chime, 
And, soaring still, it scattered everywhere 
The sacred influence of Christmas -time ; 
And so ascended, 
Clothed all in joy, its earthly mission ended. 




s«t#. RJ2 

« Mrs. Mcllvary started to her feet, white with rage. ' This is going too far. You are forgetting yourself, Elspeth, 

to dare to tell me a lie like that ] ' " ' ' r » 




MRS. McILVARY was a proud, dom- 
ineering woman. She • always 
wanted her own way, and she 
invariably took it, sweeping away the ob- 
stacles in her path like leaves before the 
wind. She hated everyone who opposed her, 
and she despised everyone who did not ; 
with the two notable exceptions of the late 
Mcllvary and the reigning one. These 
were each in his turn known as " The Mc- 
llvary " — a title which Mrs. Mcllvary was 
very proud to think had been borne by both 
her husband and her son : and they were 
both gentle and scholarly men, with no more 
capacity of standing up against Mrs. Mc- 
llvary than reeds against a whirlwind. 
And because they were who and what they 
were, Mrs. Mcllvary loved them all the 
more passionately for their submission to 

her iron will and dominating personality. 
She felt that they were hers to do with as 
she chose ; and for that she adored them. 
Not only was Janet Mcllvary autocratic ; 
she was also ambitious : and she possessed 
a truly Scottish appreciation of the value 
of money : therefore when Angus was a 
baby she was rejoiced by the fact that a 
gipsy-woman — who chanced upon him in 
his perambulator — insisted on examining 
his infant palm, and foretold that in due 
time he would marry a great heiress. Thence- 
forth this potential and wealthy daughter- 
in-law loomed large in Mrs. Mcllvary's 
mind ; for although the Mcllvary estates 
were broad and wide, their mistress re- 
joiced in the thought that they would be 
doubled , when Angus was old enough to 
take unto himself a wife. Though well- 




born and ricbJy endowed, Janet Mcllvary 
was not unrelated to the daughters of the 
horse-leech ; and the word *' Give " took 
a prominent place in all the prayers and 
petitions that she offered up in the secret 
places of her heart. 

The two ruling passions of her life had 
not dominated her simultaneously. Her 
complete domination over her submissive 
husband had been abruptly ended by his 
death six months before Angus first saw 
the light : during which period her really 
sincere grief had been assuaged, and the 
loss of her husband modified, by dreams 
of how she would mould her son when 
that son arrived to fill her lonely heart. 
That her longed-for son might prove to be 
a daughter was a possibility too horrible 
to be considered : and as everybody had 
always given her her own way ever since 
she was old enough to have a will of her 
own, she not unnaturally concluded that 
Providence would do the same. As it 
turned out, Mrs. Mcllvary's powerful will 
nearly frustrated the design of Providence 
altogether, and allowed her neither son nor 
daughter to enliven her later years : for 
in direct defiance of her doctor's orders, 
she insisted in staying on at Mcllvary Castle, 
in the most remote fastnesses of the North of 
Scotland, until after the birth of her child ; 
with the result that her baby was born in 
that out-of-the-way place, with only Elspeth 
Duncan — her own old nurse, now married 
to a gamekeeper — to look after it. 

Unfortunately the infant — unlike its 
mother — was very frail and delicate, and 
seemed unlikely to live ; and in fact was 
saved from death only by the ministrations 
of Elspeth 's married daughter, Jeanie Mc- 
Farlane, who had a young baby of her own. 
Owing to the care and generosity of this 
foster-mother, Janet's baby survived its 
untoward beginning, and developed into a 
healthy child ; whilst Jeanie McFarlane — as 
is the way of foster-mothers — loved Janet's 
baby as much as she loved her own. 

The two children — Angus and Flora — ^grew 
up together almost like brother and sister, 
and their affection for each other grew 
with their growth and strengthed with their 
strength in the sunshine of Mrs. Mcllvary's 
approval. Flora was a beautiful and high- 
spirited girl, and as long as she was still a child 
Mrs. Mcllvary had no fault to find with her ; 
whilst Angus spent a happy and peaceful 
existence serving and obeying the one when 
he was not serving and obeying the other. 
Between them they ordered his every action 

and regulated his every thought: and his 
childhood was passed in tossing between 
the two like a shuttlecock between two 

During her childhood and early youth. 
Flora shared without any demur the sub- 
servient attitude of Jeanie and Elspeth 
towards Mrs. Mcllvary. It never occurred 
to the child to throw any doubt upon the 
assumption that Mrs. Mcllvary was as 
all-wise as she was all-powerful ; and that 
if she said that a thing was white, white 
it was, however black it might appear to 
Flora's own defective vision : but as the 
girl advanced towards womanhood, she 
rebelled against the faith of former genera- 
tions ; and to her the tradition of Mrs. 
Mcllvary's infallibility became a creed out- 
worn. Then trouble arose. Janet Mc- 
llvary was the last woman to stand any 
challenge to her omnipotence — especially 
from a granddaughter of her old nurse — - 
and many and severe were the storms of 
her displeasure which beat upon the loyal 
and unoffending heads of poor Elspeth and 

But it was not until after Angus's coming- 
of-age that the storm rose to the height of 
its fury ; for it was then that Mrs. Mcllvary 
learnt from the lips of The Mcllvary him- 
self that he loved the daughter of his foster- 
mother and had made up his mind to marry 
her. ♦ .» , 

*' Marry Flora McFarlane ? Why, you 
must be mad to think of such a thing ! " 
exclaimed Janet in her wrath. 

*' On the contrary, Mother, it is the sanest 
thing I have ever thought of," replied Angus. 
" Flora is as good as she is beautiful ; and 
I am the most fortunate fellow in the whole 
world to have won the love of such a 

" Fortunate stuff and nonsense ! The 
girl is handsome enough, I admit ; but she 
is a peasant, and the daughter of peasants, 
and as such is no match for The Mcllvary ! " 

" Mcllvary stuff and nonsense ! " re- 
torted Angus. "It is you. Mother, who 
are being mad now in thinking that it is 
possible to make me change my mind in a 
matter like this. I have loved Flora all 
my life — as child and girl and woman : and 
she is the only one in all the world that I 
could make my wife." 

Mrs. Mcllvary fairly snorted. "You, 
The Mcllvary — to marry a peasant ! I 
never heard of such a thing in my life ! 
Didn't the gipsy-woman foretell that you 
should wed a great heiress ? And if after 



that you marry a penniless peasant-girl, it 
is simply flying in the face of Providence." 

" I don't see why Providence should speak 
more clearly through the patter of an old 
gipsy-woman than through the passionate 
cravings of my own heart," argued Angus, 
with some show of reason : "for my part, I 
think it would be flying in the face of Provi- 
dence to marry one woman when my heart 
was given to another — which is what you 
would wish me to do, I gather." 

For a moment Mrs. Mcllvary's wrath 
made her speechless. It was hard to believe 
that anybody could dare to defy her : but the 
idea that her darling son, who had obeyed 
her all his life, should lend himself to such 
rank treason, struck her dumb. She did 
not reckon on the fact that as a man he had 
changed his boyish allegiance, and that 
now he obeyed Flora McFarlane as implicitly 
as he had once obeyed her. She longed to 
tell him that should he make this absurd 
marriage he would forfeit his rich inheri- 
tance : but she knew— and Angus knew— 
that, according to her late husband's will, 
all his vast possessions — in which she had 
a. life-interest— went to the child who was 
as yet unborn when that husband died. 
With all his wealth— and Flora McFarlane— 
at his back, Angus was quite capable of 
disobeying his mother : and Mrs. Mcllvary 
was clever enough to realise that this was 
precisely what he intended to do should 
she persist in opposing his, desires. Still, 
she meant to oppose them with her last 
breath and her last atom of force ; and she 
decided to set her wits to work to discover 
a way whereby she might outwit her hus- 
band's will and her son's wish. 

Every day Angus went to his foster- 
mother's cottage, and poured his tale of woe 
into her sympathetic ear. Jeanie McFar- 
lane was a gentle creature, and begged 
Angus and Flora to have patience, and to 
wait for Mrs. Mcllvary to come round. 

" For sure, Master Angus, her heart is 
bound to melt when she sees how fond you 
and my Flora are of each ither, and what 
a fine couple ye make. After all, the heart 
of a mither is the heart of a mither, and 
cannot see her child suffer without trying 
to comfort him." So said Jeanie one day 
when Angus was having tea with her and 
Flora and old Elspeth, whilst Jeanie's 
younger children played out in the garden. 
Angus was specially down-hearted that 
afternoon, and no one but Jeanie and Flora 
could comfort him. 

" She's just eaten up with pride— that s 

what she is," said Flora, with a toss of her 
curly head ; " and she thinks I'm not half 
good enough for Angus. Of course, I know 
I'm not : nobody is : but I don't thank 
Mrs. Mcllvary for rubbing it in." 

"Still, she has the heart of a mither." - 
persisted Jeanie ; " and no mither can bear 
to see her bairn suffer for long." 

" Dinna build too much on Madam Mc- 
llvary 's heart, Jeanie," remarked old Els- 
peth from her chair by the fire. 

" If you do, you are building on a rock, 
Mother," said Flora, with a bitter laugh ; 
" and for that you ought to be praised." 

"Dinna be impertinent, my bairn," said 
Jeanie reproachfully. " Haven't I always 
taught ye to show respect to your elders 
and betters ? I'm ashamed of ye." 

But Flora's lover took Flora's part. 
" Flora isn't to blame, Jeanie, for calling 
my mother hard. Surely she is as hard 
as the nether-millstone towards me. She 
knows my whole happiness is bound up in 
Flora, and that I cannot live without her ; 
yet she sets her face like a flint against our 
marriage, and won't hear reason upon the 

Jeanie still endeavoured to defend her 
late mistress. " Ye maun bear in mind 
what a proud spirit your mither has always 
had, and how she has built her hopes on 
that old gipsy's saying when ye were a baby. 
Master Angus. Many a time have I heard 
her say that she knew it would come true." 

" What nonsense ! " exclaimed Angus. 
" I wonder my mother hasn't too much 
sense to believe an old wife's tale such as 

" Dinna say a word against auld wives' 
tales, Master Angus," said Elspeth. "For 
my pairt I daurna say a wurd against them ; 
for no man kens how far the gipsies can 
see into the secret places and the hidden 

" Well, anyway, I can assure you, Elspeth, 
that my particular gipsy was talking non- 
sense ; for if I don't marry Flora, I shall 
never marry anybody at all." 

But old Elspeth shook her head. " The 
gipsies are a strange folk, Master Angus, 
and it isn't much that is hidden from their 

een. . 

And then Angus and Flora went out into 
the sunset, and wandered by the burn whilst 
they talked of their love. 

A few days after this, Mrs. Mcllvary sent 
for Angus to come to her private sanctum, 
where she conducted all her business and 
managed her estate. 



" Sit down, Angus, whilst I talk to you, 
and tell you the decision to which, after 
much cogitation, I have arrived. But 
first let me ask you if you are still set on 
this ridiculous marriage, or if at last you 
have come to your senses ? " 

except the one under discussion ; but with 
regard to that I am as wise as I am firm." 
Janet knew her match when she met him ; 
but she was amazed to meet him in the 
youth whom until now she had ruled with 
a rod of iron. ^* You mean that you will 

" * She thinks I'm not half good enough for 
Angus. Of course, I know I'm not: nobody 
is: but I don't thank Mrs. Mcllvary for rub- 
bing it in.' " 

" I deny that the marriage under question 
is ridiculous, and I affirm that my senses 
and I have never parted company, my 
dear Mother ; but if you want to know 
whether I am still determined to marry 
Flora McFarlane — I am." 

With difficulty Mrs. Mcllvary curbed her 
imperious and arrogant temper, " You are 
a fool, Angus : a thick-skulled, pig-headed, 
obstinate fool ! " 

*' Probably I am, Mother, on all points 

persist in marrying this low-born girl m 
spite of anything that I can do or anything 
that I can say ? " 

" I do, Mother ; though I cannot tell you 
how deeply it grieves me that you take it 
like this." 

Janet Mcllvary strove hard to keep her 
temper. ** You mean to say that you will 
persist in this marriage in direct defiance 
of the gipsy's prophecy ? " 

*' Of course I do. I am sorry to vex you. 



Mother, and I liave a great regard for your 
wishes ; but I have no regard at all for the 
chatter of a silly old gipsy-woman." 

" You will live to regret it, Angus ; no 
one can defy Fate with impunity." 

" One must follow the dictates of one's 
heart and conscience, and so carve out a 
fate for oneself/' replied Angus. 

" Well then, my son, as your mind is made 
up, so is mine. As you are aware, all your 
father's property is settled upon you, sub- 

my lifetime ; but as it is, not a penny of 
your father's money shall you touch as 
long as I live. And I am still a young 
woman — or at any rate not an old one — 
well on the sunny side of fifty : and until 
I die, you and your Flora will be absolutely 

Angus grew very pale. ** I can work for 
my living. Mother." 

Mrs. Mcllvary laughed — a laugh that it 
was not pleasant to hear. " What at ? 

■■ ' still, Bho has the heart of a mithcr,' persisted Jcanic ; ' and no raithcr can boar to see her bairn suffer tor long.' " 

iect to my life-interest in it. Had you mar- You have learnt no profession and you are 
ried according to my wishes, I should have far too much of a weakling to work with 
made you a handsome allowance during your hands." 



Angus turned on his heel and went out ' 
of the room. Full well did he realise that 
all his life his mother had tied him to her 
apron-string in order to have full dominion 
over him ; and for that same reason had 
never trained him to any profession save 
that of a country gentleman living at Mc- 
Ilvary Castle under her sheltering wing. 

As usual, he went down to the MacFar- 
lanes' cottage and poured out his grief and 
disappointment into his foster-mother's 
ear. There he received his full meed of 
sympathy. Flora was all for his finding 
something to do, and starting to make a 
living for himself and her : but Elspeth 
and Jeanie — who had lived in the houses 
of the gentry and knew something of their 
requirements — shook their heads at the 
idea of the delicate and pampered young 
laird enduring toil and privation and 

" My puir bairn, it wad kill ye in a year," 
said Jeanie, the tears running down her 
sweet face. '* I nursed ye as a babe, and I've 
watched ye grow to a man, and I ken weel 
that it's not in ye to stand any hardship." 

" But if Flora could stand it, why couldn't 
I ? " argued Angus. 

*' Och, but Flora's used to hardships and 
rough living ; she's had naught else all her 
life : and, besides, she's a sight stronger 
than ever you were. Master Angus ; and 
what wud be just play to her wud be death 
to you. I mind the time when ye were 
baith babes in my arms, and 'twas thought 
that neither of ye was going to live at first ; 
but Flora soon picked up and began to 
thrive, whilst it was months before I felt 
sure we should rear you," replied Jeanie. 

The three women strove in vain to com- 
fort Angus. Jeanie soothed and Flora 
stormed and old Elspeth sat by the fire and 
muttered : but the heart of the young 
laird was heavy within him because he saw 
no hope of gaining that heart's desire for 
years to come. He wanted to marry and to 
have a life of his own ; and not to go on 
living, until he was an old man, under his 
mother's iron sway. 

The following day Jeanie went up to the 
Castle to see Mrs. Mcllvary, and pleaded 
and wept : and Flora went up to see her, 
and stormed and entreated : but all was 
of no avail. Mrs. Mcllvary was adamant 
in her decision that if Angus married against 
her wishes not a penny would she give him 
as long as she lived. And those who knew 
her knew that she was as good as her word, 
and that no tears nor prayers nor entreaties 

would move Janet Mcllvary when once 
she had made up her mind. 

The old woman by the fire sat still and 
said very little ; but the less she said the 
more she thought. She knew Janet Mc- 
llvary better than any of them knew her, 
as she had been her nurse when Janet was 
a child, and she a young widow with a little 
daughter of her own. As she sat in her arm- 
chair, Elspeth recalled the haughty, im- 
perious child, who had grown into the 
haughty, imperious woman : she remem- 
bered how completely the latter had domin- 
ated her gentle ,and scholarly husband, 
during the brief period of their married life. 
" He might call himself * The Mcllvary ' 
as much as he liked," said Elspeth to herself ; 
'' but it was Miss Janet who was * The 
Mcllvary,' and ' The Mcllvary ' she will 
remain to the end of the chapter." 

Then memory brought back to the old 
woman the time when "" Miss Janet " trans- 
ferred her love from her dead husband to 
her child, and planned and plotted the 
future of that child from his cradle to his 
grave. Elspeth recalled how she had once 
suggested to her mistress that the baby 
might be a girl, and how indignantly Mrs. 
Mcllvary had scorned and routed the idea. 
In thought the old woman re-lived the anxious 
days after the baby's birth, when no one 
expected it to live, it was so small and 
fragile ; and when indeed it would most 
certainly have died if Elspeth's daughter, 
Jeanie, had not come to the rescue. And 
Elspeth's heart burned within her when 
she remembered that if it had not been for 
Jeanie, Mrs. Mcllvary would have had no 
living child at all this day : and she said 
to herself that the ingratitude, which her 
old mistress was now displaying, was ac- 
cursed of God and man. 

And as she dwelt in thought upon the 
days that were past, and recalled how much 
Janet Mcllvary owed to Jeanie MacFarlane, 
Elspeth's heart burned within her ; and 
she felt that it was high time for her to speak 
with her tongue : so she put on her cloak 
and her hood, and took her stick in her hand, 
and hobbled up to the Castle, where she 
was immediately shown into the presence 
of its mistress. 

Though Mrs. Mcllvary feared neither 
man nor angel, nor yet demon, she had a 
certain respect for her old nurse — ^a remnant 
of her far-off childhood ; so she bade 
Elspeth be seated and offered her some 
refreshment, which the old woman de- 



** I'm at war wi' ye, Miss Janet ; and 
whiles I'm at war wi' ye neither bit nor sup 
of yours shall pass my lips : for ye are 
behaving wickedly in coming between your 
son and the woman of his choice, for no 
reason save your ain selfish pride : and I 
canna eat the bread of those that go on 
still in their wickedness." 

'' Nonsense ! " replied Mrs. Mcllvary : 
** it is my duty to see that my son does 
not make a fool of himself." 

" There are twa kinds of fools, Miss Janet : 
those that make the best of this life, and 
those that make the best of the life to come. 
And I'm thinking that the last will do the 
best for themselves in the long run." 

" Rubbish ! " said Mrs. Mcllvary. 

*' Ye've always had a proud heart, 
Miss Janet, ever since ye was a wee bairn : 
and pride goes before a fall, ye will remem- 

Mrs. Mcllvary snorted as she had a way 
of doing when anyone opposed her. " I 
will remember nothing of the kind. All I 
will remember is that a gipsy foretold that 
my son should marry a great heiress : 
and a great heiress he shall marry or I'll 
know the reason why. Surely you wouldn't 
go against the word of one who had the 
second sight, Elspeth ! " 

" Surely I wudn't go against one who had 
the word of God in his heart : and such a 
one said that the pride of life is a snare of 
the devil. And I have come up to ye this 
day to beg ye to give up your proud looks 
and your covetous imagination, and to 
allow the young laird to marry the woman 
he has set his heart on." 

*' Then you've wasted your strength and 
your time, Elspeth, for I will never consent 
to a marriage between Angus and Flora : 
I'd sooner see them starve : and starve they 
will : for as long as I live they shall never 
have a penny of my money." 

*' And does their love for each other 
count for nothing ? " asked Elspeth with a 

" For less than nothing, as far as I am 

" And does your gratitude to my Jeanie 
count for nothing : to Jeanie who saved 
you from being a childless woman this 
day ? " 

" For less than nothing," repeated Mrs. 
Mcllvary ; " besides, Jeanie was well paid 
for what she did." 

" Yes, that's true," agreed Elspeth. 

" Then the matter is closed and that's the 
end of it. Please understand that nothing 

that you could do and nothing that you can 
say will change my opinion or alter my 

" Wait just one more moment, Miss Janet, 
and then I'll have said all I've got to say," 
said Elspeth. "Do you ken how your baby 
was so sickly and small when it was born, 
that there seemed to be no chance of rearing 

" Of course I remember it. I'm not yet 
in my dotage. But why waste my time in 
recalling an old tale like that ? " 

" And do ye recall how Jeanie's bairn 
was born the same time, and how she nursed 
your bairn because it seemed as if it wud 
dee, and became the wee thing's foster- 
mother ? And how afeared ye was lest 
yours should be a lassie ; and how glad ye 
were when I tauld ye that the boy was 
yours and the lassie was Jeanie's ? " 

*' Of course I remember it. It only hap- 
pened twenty-one years ago." 

" Then let me tell ye. Miss Janet, that 
ye've believed a lie for twenty-one years, 
and it's time now that I tauld ye the truth. 
And the truth is that the boy was Jeanie's 
and the lass was yours." 

Mrs. Mcllvary started to her feet, white 
with rage. " This is going too far. You 
are forgetting yourself, Elspeth, to dare to 
tell me a lie like that ! " 

" Sure it was a lie that I tauld ye twenty- 
one years ago. Miss Janet : and it's the 
truth I'm telling ye now. It always made 
ye ill not to get your ain way ; ye ken that 
weel enough ; and ye were so ill at the 
time that I daurna tell ye that your wish 
for a son had been thwarted, for I felt sure 
it wud kill ye outright. So I just changed 
the bairns, since Jeanie didna mind whether 
hers was a lad or a lass ; and I gied ye the 
boy to save your life." 

A cold hand clutched at the heart of 
Janet Mcllvary ; for she felt in her very bones 
that her old nurse was speaking the truth. 
But she stood her ground. " You have no 
proof of this trumped-up tale : only your own 
word : and no one would take your word 
against mine." 

" There's my word, and Jeanie's word 
and Jeanie's husband's ; and surely nobody 
wud take your word, or the word of any 
woman, at a time like that ! How could 
ye ken what was goin' on whilst ye were 
nearly deein', and your babe was just born ? 
And mair than that, Flora has got a mark 
the shape of a star under her left shoulder, 
just like ye have. Miss Janet ; and no one 
can deny that she is the image of what ye 



were at her age, only much handsomer, 
her father having been, as ye well ken, far 
better-looking than ye ever were." 

Conviction stole with its stealthy .tread 
into the inmost recesses of Janet's mind. 
It had never struck her before : it was such 
an unheard-of proposition : but now that 
her attention was called to the fact, shie 
saw that the spirited Flora was as much like 
herself as the gentle Angus was like Jeanie. 
She had as a child believed everything that 
Elspeth told her : she believed what Elspeth 
told her even now ; and she could not help 
believing her, even if such belief were to 
her own undoing. 

" Whatever possessed you to lend yourself 
to such an outrageous deception ? " she 
managed to ask with white and trembling 

" Just to save your life, Miss Janet : 
neither more nor less than that. I weel 
kenned how ye never could thole not to 
have your ain way, even when ye were in 
the best of health : and I feared that it 
would fair break your heart to learn that 
your bairn and the heir to the Mcllvary 
lands was only a lass after all. It was 
just my love for ye that drove me to it ; 
not any thocht of what I was doing for 
Jeanie's bairn." 

And again Janet knew that her old nurse 
was speaking the truth. The faithful 
woman's grandson was as nothing compared 
with the life of the woman who had been her 
nursling : neither was the child of that 
woman herself. The two children weighed 
as nothing in the balance against Elspeth's 
former charge and present mistress. 

'* And have you never considered the 

injury you were doing to Flora ? " asked 
the stricken Janet. 

*' Weel, Miss Janet, I confess that when 
I feel my life is drawing to a close I often 
have an anxious thocht as to how things can 
be set richt ; and it seemed as if Providence 
was on my side, and that all wud be put 
richt without a word being spoken, when 
The Mcllvary felL in love wi' Flora and 
wanted to wed her. But then your sad and 
sinful pride came to the front once more, 
and threatened to overthrow the workings 
o' Providence Itself. And that's why I 
ha' made a clean breast of the whole matter, 
so that your daughter may come into her 
ain, and rule at Mcllvary Castle as she was 
born to do, without folks being a penny 
the wiser about the affair. Surely least said 
is soonest mended in a thing such as this." 

It did not take Elspeth long to convince 
her former mistress that no good would be 
done — but possibly much evil — by letting 
the world into their secret ; and that Flora 
would not be a penny the worse in the 
long run, if Mrs. Mcllvary withdrew her 
opposition to the marriage of the young 
people. Also for their own sakes, as well 
as for Mrs. Mcllvary's, the original con- 
spirators could be trusted to keep their 
mouths shut, and to allow the truth to 
die with them : since if Angus did not stoop 
to marry Flora, Flora would stoop to marry 
Angus ; and so the succession would not 
be tampered with. 

Thus the matter was settled ; and as 
Elspeth rose to leave she fired her parting 
shot : "So the auld gipsy- woman was 
richt, ye see. Miss Janet ; and Angus will 
wed a great heiress after all." 


nr^HE wind is worrying the trees, 

Wolf- craftily he paws them down, 
The sunset is a crimson frown 
Across the visage of the seas ; 

O cruel wolf, like blood that's spilled 
The last leaves trickle from your jaws. 
Beneath your buried fangs and claws 

Lies the slain forest, gaunt and chilled. 

Yet from your caverns of the snow 

Shall leap the cunning green of spring 
To strangle you, and birds shall sing 

The wonder of your overthrow ! 


v/?^/y /^^f<^/ '^ 

' • I'm extremely sorry,' he said—* I didn't know— I didn't know the— the car was— was being used— privately— or 
I— or I shouldn't have signalled to the chauffeur for a— for a hft. I'll— I'll go on walking.' " 




SHE looked upon the threat of the 
General Strike rather as a schoolboy 
regards a snowstorm that drifts in 
the country roads making all passage to 
school impossible. It was a bit of a lark. 
With a clear idea of the restrictions of 
modern fashion, she assumed it would be 
impossible to walk from Chiswick to Regent 

The short skirt conveys freedom but does 
not deliver it. 

The modern heel is not constructed for 
the three-league boot. 

With the unreasoning optimism of youth 
and an uplifted belief in the British Em- 
ployer, she assumed that those twenty-five 
shillings a week, which she called her salary 
and the firm of drapers in the West End 
called her wages, would be paid irrespective 
of attendance. 

She had heard her father, who was an 
insurance agent, speak of allowance for 

CopyrigMy 1926, by E. Temple Thurston, in the United States of America, 




" general strikes and the acts of God." She 
considered that this was both. Indeed she 
followed the modern trend of consciousness 
towards personality. 

With no unwarranted sense of pessimism 
it is permissible to say that youth invites 
the company of disappointment. The firm 
of drapers in the West End would pay her 
salary only for work done. Nothing short 
of a doctor's certificate for non-attendance 
would satisfy them. It was borne in upon 
her as Tuesday dawned that no doctor would 
certify the height of her heels or the width 
of her skirt as inadequate for' a six-mile 
walk. How she would accomplish the six 
miles back obviously concerned no one* but 

As she set out that morning from her 
father's house in Chiswick at half-past seven, 
she found herself at the age of twenty-one 
confronted with the stern realities of life. 
She discovered that her feet had been in- 
tended for the hard road. She learnt that 
her legs were shaped by nature for spaces 
less limited than a dance hall. What was 
more, she realized she had never before 
employed these functions of her body for 
their proper purpose. 

By the time she reached Notting Hill, 
she was wellnigh exhausted. A fruiterer's 
van picked her up in the Bayswater Road 
and dropped her at Oxford Circus. Her 
voice was fatigued and trembling when she 
said " Thank you." 

On Wednesday she got no lift at all. She 
reached Regent Street much as the pilgrims 
reached Canterbury with the peas trodden 
into the insoles of their shoes. Every 
vehicle that passed her was filled to over- 
flowing. Bitterly she resented the shouts 
of laughter from the occupants. With that 
consciousness of personality, she felt they 
were laughing at her. Their laughter rico- 
cheted down the road between the houses. 
It vanished in a distance of sound with a 
swiftness that mocked her progress. 

In Regent Street she saw a womin driving 
a smart four-seater. It was empty. The 
woman was about fifty years of age. She 
was inclined to be stout. Her yellow hair 
was an unwanted grey. It was smartly 
shingled but did not make her look as she 
intended. She had the appearance of a 
white May tree whose bloom has grown 
dingy and is about to fall. 

She drove slowly with a watchful eye as 
though she were passing through a police 
trap. Besides being watchful, her eye was 
hopeful. She appeared ready to smile at a 

moment's notice. On the wind-screen at 
the front and on the petrol tank at the back, 
there was a proclamation printed in large 
letters : 

" If you want me — stop me." 

She kept putting on the brakes, like 
a taxi-cab at the kerbstone accosting a 
fare. « 

Jane's sense of humour at the sight of 
this lady supported her for the last two 
hundred yards as far as the draper's estab- 
lishment. She got a lift home that evening 
as far as Shepherd's Bush. By the next 
morning, after a so.und sleep, she was seeing 
all the comedy of adventure in the General 

Every day after that she contrived to 
get a lift for some part of the six miles. 
There were a few 'buses running, if run- 
ning was the word. It was more like a 
steeplechase. On the following Monday, 
as she was walking up Notting Hill, having 
stepped three miles without the sight of 
a lift, a Rolls Royce landaulette slid out 
of a side road and pulled up at the kerb- 
stone with an insinuating whisper of its 

'' Want a lift ? " inquired the chauffeur. 

One does not look the gtft of a Rolls- 
Royce in the radiator. In the last week 
Jane had been part and temporary owner 
of a fruiterer's and a milk van, three Fords, 
a pre-war Unic and an Hispano-Suiza, which 
had registered fifty m.p.h., as they say at 
Brooklands, between Queen's Road and 
Marble Arch. She took to her Rolls-Royce. 
She opened the door and stepped in. 

** I want to go to Regent Street if that'll 
suit you," she said. 

Apparently he had what amounted to a 
roving mandate from his master, who pre- 
ferred driving a bus on the Hammersmith 

" Anywhere yer like," said the chauffeur. 
" No odds to me." 

She sank into the leather cushions and 
stretched out her legs in a way it had been 
impossible to do in any of the lesser cars. 
There was a sense of satisfaction in know- 
ing she had got on her best silk stockings. 
In fact, she was what she called " dolled 
up " that day. A gentleman in the crejpe- 
de-chines was taking her out to a cinema 
that evening. He had not invited her to 
dinner. He was not so much of a gentle- 
man as that. She didn't like him. A cer- 
tain effeminacy due to his association with 
cripe~de-chines totally precluded him from 
any of those dreams that are indigenous to 


virgin soil. But they did not preclude her 
from wearing her best. 

There was more encouragement to dream 
on those leather cushions of the Rolls-Royce 
landaulette than she had ever felt in the 
company of Mr. Lush. This was partly 
accounted for by the various knick-knacks 
in the equipment of the car's interior. In a 
better class of society she would have called 
them gadgets. There was a tray for books 
or small parcels. There was a mirror in a 
case. There were leather receptacles for 
scent bottles and powder boxes, now empty, 
but eloquent to the instinct of any woman 
who knows that nature alone can never be 

Jane pictured to herself the times before 
the national calamity, when those cushions 
had supported the slim figure of some beau- 
tifully dressed lady of fashion ; when those 
silent engines had conveyed her to the 
Splendid or the Beau Site, when, probably, 
sitting beside her was a young man in what 
the writers call— faultless evening dress. 

This was a dream incapable of being 
entertained in the company of Mr. Lush. 
She closed her eyes, partly to shut out the 
sight of the Bayswater Road where thou- 
sands of Mr. Lushes were being conveyed 
to business by volunteer assistance, partly 
to induce a sensation of night-time for her 

She was going to the Beau Site. A young 
man was sitting beside her, making love to 
her as gentlemen will, before dinner and 
after supper — in the odd moments in fact, 
as she felt they must do. How could a 
young gentleman sit next to a young lady 
in a car like that and not make love to her ? 
It was not like the 49 'bus. And even on a 
49 'bus, Mr. Lush had once squeezed her 

She felt the gentle resiliency of the springs 
under the weight of her body. There was a 
delicate scent of leather — expensive leather 
— in her nostrils. She was far away in a 
dream frock of such material as Mr. Lush 
sold only to the selected few, when she felt 
the car pull up, silently, effortlessly with 
the application of its four-wheel brakes. 

The door opened and a young man was 
about to enter when he saw her reclining 
on those sumptuous cushions, her eyes half 
closed as though she had been there all her 

*' I'm extremely sorry," he said — " I 
didn't know — I didn't know the — the car 
was — was being used — privately — or I — or 
I shouldp't have signalled to the chauffeur 


for a— for a lift. ril~ril go on walking." 
He was about to close the door again. 
She sat up quickly. Her dream had come 
true. He had taken her for the slim figure 
of the beautifully dressed lady of fashion. 
He thought she was the owner. Could a 
dream, come true, be allowed to end like 
that ! She begged him to come in. 

'' You can't walk ! " she said. " Of course 
you must come in." 

With repeated apologies, he obeyed. It 
was, he said, extraordinarily good of her. 
He sat beside her on the cushions of the 
Rolls-Royce car. 

'* Unfortunately for me," said he, "my 
own car is laid up. It would happen, just 
at a time like this." 

She leant forward, took the mirror out of 
its leather case, looked at the arrangement 
of ^her hair under her best hat and said : 
** Troubles never come singly." 
Her father said this to insurance clients 
when there was more than one death in the 

He heartily agreed. 

'' You mustn't let me take you out of 
your way," he said. 

She asked where he wanted to go. He 
mentioned Oxford Circus as though it were 
a neighbourhood distantly removed from 
polite society. 

" I'll tap on tha window," said he. '' I'm 
— I'm going to call on my solicitors." 

" That'll be quite all right," she replied, 
" I'm going into Regent Street." 
Regent Street at that time in the morning ? 
" Shopping," she said. 
*' Do you always do your shopping as 
early as this ? " 

She explained that the car was doing 
volunteer work. 

" My father thinks " she began. 

" Jolly patriotic of him ! " he interrupted. 
" It's extraordinary the way the country's 
come forward to stick up for what belongs 
to it." 

He glanced at her apprehensively. He 
felt that was not quite what he meant to 
say. Apparently she had noticed nothing. 
A block in the traffic, controlled by one of 
the volunteer constabulary, gave plenty of 
opportunity for conversation. She com- 
pletely forgot she was going out to a cinema 
that evening with Mr. Lush. She reclined 
upon those cushions of the Rolls-Royce car. 
She regarded her best shoes and her best 
silk stockings. She arranged decorously over 
her knees the short, fashionable little skirt 
she had acquired at bargain price in the 



ready-mades, and it seemed to her that 
nature had intended her for the rich and 
idle life. That somehow in the scheme of 
things those intentions of nature had mis- 

modes of life. To Jane Pringle, it did not 
seem extraordinary that the young man 
should say : 

" Well — it's an ill wind that blows nobody 
any good." 

That also was a dictum of her father's on 
the death of a well-insured client. 

When she asked the young man what he 
meant by it and he replied : 

*' Hadn't been for the strike, I shouldn't 
have met you, should I ? " It certainly was 
an advance in the tone of the conversation, 
but delicate enough for her taste and ap- 

*' We met — 'twas in a crowd" — she 

" Ha ! ha ! " he laughed. 

It would not have been an exaggeration 
to say that they were friends by the time 
they reached Oxford Circus, where his solici- 
tors lived. 

carried, did not appear to 
matter so very much. The 
moment, with this strange, 
attractive and evidently wealthy 
young man beside her who em- 
ployed a solicitor, was real enough 
to demand no disturbance. She 
merely threw herself back upon 
the stream of circumstance — much 
as she was reclining on the leather 
cushions — and allowed the current 
of chance to carry her in whatever 
direction it chose. 

The effect of this upon the 
young man must have been encouraging, 
because, by the time the special constable 
had withdrawn the striped band on his arm 
from the mass of traffic behind him, he 
was obviously endeavouring to contrive 
another meeting. 

In whatever strata of society she may be 
embedded, a young woman with normal 
instincts can recognize these signs. Un- 
questionably they are different in different 

He tapped on the window. The chauffeur 
stopped. He got out, then turned back, 
offering his hand. As she leant forward 
responsively to take it, he said : 

" I should like the opportunity of return- 
ing this hospitality." 

She declared she had done nothing. 

" At a time like this," said she, " every- 
thing belongs to everybody." 

*' The true socialism," he guffawed. 



They did not know how profound they 

'^ Then I don't see no harm," he added, 
" in asking you in return if you'd like to 
come and take a little bit of dinner with 
me next week." 

It was the easy nonchalance of that — little 
bit of dinner — that convinced her he was a 
young man of social breeding. With real 
breeding there could never be any real 
danger. With Mr. Lush, well as she knew 
him for the last two years in the crepe-de- 

'^ Thursday?" 

" Yes. Where ? " 

"At the— oh— at the Beau Site. Meet 
me at — at the door at seven thirty if that's 
not too early." 

She leant back once more in the bosom 
of the cushions as the car glided down Eegent 
Street. The dream had come true. She 
was going to the Beau Site 
with a young man about 
whom she made no doubt 
that he would be in fault- 

cMnes, she always had to be on her guard. 

" I don't see nothing against that," she 
replied delicately. 

" Next week then ? " 

" Certainly." 

" • What wine will you drink, sir ? ' he 
asked, and he handed the wine list. . . . 
* I can recommend this.' " 

less evening dress. When she de- 
scended outside the drapery estab- 
lishment, the chauffeur leaned over 
the side of the driving seat and 
with what appeared to be a wink 
in his eye, he said : 

" Think of me in the 'osiery." 
She flung her head in the air and 
went within to do her day's shopping. 


One of these days it will be learnt by little 
boys and little girls with much labour at 



home lessons, that the Great General Strike 
was ended suddenly on Wednesday, May 
the 12th, 1926. The day of the week and 
the month will not be obligatory. But if 
by any chance they write 1826 instead of 
1926 it may cost them a pass in their history 

Stanley Moxham was well aware that the 
strike was over on Wednesday the 12th, 
because on Thursday the 20th he had con- 
tracted to give a lady dinner at the Beau 
Site •Hotel and had forgotten to ask her 
name. She was, however, to meet him at 
the door, so that there was not much chance 
of his missing her. 

He had never dined at the Beau Site. 
The most fashionable of those restaurants 
at which he had partaken of a meal had 
been in the Tottenham Court Road, where 
it was an event to see a white shirt, except 
on the waiters, and to call those white was 
merely a fagon de parler. 

The first thing obviously to do was to 
reconnoitre at the Beau Site. He went in 
trepidation and came away refreshed with 
confidence, so far as the dinner was con- 
cerned. They had directed him in the hall 
to the maitre d'hotel, who had been quite 
willing to let him have a table and seemed 
pleased to arrange a dinner at a price that 
was only one-third of his weekly salary at 
the music publishers' where he worked in 
the neighbourhood of Oxford Circus. 

" I — I shan't be^ — ^is — is evening dress 
com-compulsory ? " he inquired. 

The smile of the maitre d'hotel that had 
greeted his question reminded him of the 
ice he had once seen spilled down a lady's 
neck at what might have been an awfully 
jolly party. Hastily saying it was a matter 
of indifference to him, he went away having 
learnt that there are places in this world 
where one cannot be indifferent about these 

All this was very distressing because, upon 
inquiry, he discovered that the advance of 
an evening dress suit with prompt return 
the next day before twelve o'clock, would 
cost as much as the dinner. This amounted 
to two-thirds of his weekly salary. 

He' approached the rendezvous that Thurs- 
day evening, feeling scarcely human and 
very much in fancy dress, with the remaining 
third of his salary in his pocket in case of 
emergency. He entertained a pious hope 
that that emergency would never arise, for 
he had never been behind in the money for 
his lodgings before. In addition to this 
uncomfortable sensation, was a suspicion 

that no woman, not even the owner of a 
Rolls-Royce, was worth all this bewildering 

But when after a few minutes of waiting 
at the door, Jane Pringle arrived, even 
though it was only in a taxi, the whole 
monumental expenditure of that reckless 
evening did seem justified. 

In a costume which she had persuaded a 
friend of hers in the ready-made gown 
department to lend her for the night she 
did look worth any money a man had in 
his pocket to vspend on her. 

" Where's the Rolls ? " he asked. 

He had a friend in the motor trade and 
knew from him that anything more than 
" Rolls " was superfluous. 

In an agitated flight of instinct, she rose 
to his meaning. Calling it a — Rolls — seemed 
to her the first suspicious and ill-bred thing 
he had said. The car was a Rolls-Royce. 
But she knew what he meant. 

" Father wanted it to-night," she said, 
" so I had to mug it in a taxi." 

That sentence gave her more pleasure 
than any words she had ever uttered in her 
life. It convinced him of her social stand- 
ing to hear them. 

She found the ladies' dressing-room with 
similar intuition to that of a bee finding its 
way to a new hive. She saw women coming 
in and out. With the confidence of that 
new and borrowed frock, she was a thousand 
times more adaptable than he in his hired 

" Shan't be a jiff," she said, and dis- 
appeared from his ken in a way that assured 
him she knew the ins and outs of these 

When she emerged in what her depart- 
mental friend had called ^Hhat pretty little 
creation " he was proud but none too sure 
of himself. Her heart may have been flut- 
tering as they walked down the flight of 
stairs which is the rostrum for all available 
notoriety, but it suited her. There was a 
natural flush on her cheek which lies better 
on the skin than rouge. Her lips were just 
parted and coloured with the pressure of 
her pulse, which even these beauty special- 
ists will tell you is more effective than 
tangerine. The only objection to it is 
that any pressure of the pulse in a lacka- 
daisical world is harder to obtain than a 

Invariably women carry these emotions 
better than men. They become them. His 
heart seemed scarcely to be beating at all. 
There was a dull pallor in his cheeks and 


his mouth felt like the clean though sanded 
floor of a bird-cage. 

All through dinner the Italian waiters 
persisted in annoying him. They brought 
him the food to look at. The first time, he 
did not understand the idea. With a terp- 
sichorean gesture, the waiter removed the 
cover and displayed the dish under his nose. 
" What's the matter with it ? " he 

In Italian, French and English, the waiter 
explained that there was nothing the matter 
with it, but he trusted it was to Monsieur's 

Grasping the drift of this, he said he would 
know that when he had tasted it. This 
kind of insular peculiarity it is which makes 
a foreigner exclaim : " These English ! " 

But it was the wine waiter who knew his 
English so well that he could be contemp- 
tuous with it, who was the ruin of Stanley 
Moxham that night. 

" What wine will you drink, sir ? " he 
asked, and he handed the wine list with his 
thumb in the page whose letterpress con- 
cerned itself entirely i^rith champagne. 

*' I can recommend this Gollancz 1914," 
he said. He forced the brand, as a card 
manipulator forces a card, with his index 
finger. » 

His voice and pronunciation left nothing 

to be desired. His clothes fitted him as 

gloves are always supposed to fit. Stanley 

Moxham turned to Jane Pringle and said : 

" Would you like some champagne ? " 

And Jane Pringle, who had once seen a 

bottle of sparkling Asti on her father's table 

and was not disposed to observe the tail 

end of a week's salary in Stanley's eye, said : 

" Topping." 

They drank Gollancz 1914, and if this 
was not a recommendation of the brand, 
it is only fair to say that after the first 
glass, they felt there was not one subject of 
conversation which they did not share in 

" Will Monsieur have cofiee ? " he w^as 
asked when the meal was over. 

Stanley Moxham looked at Jane Pringle 
and Jane Pringle was for having everything. 
" One does not," she told herself, " dine 
every day at the Beau Site with a gentleman 
whose solicitors dwell in the neighbourhood 
of Oxford Circus." 

Believing that a man does not always 
have the opportunity of entertaining a lady 
whose father possesses a Rolls-Koyce car, 
Stanley Moxham was disposed to give her 
anything that was going. 


When he saw the bill, he felt like one of 
those men in the films who has been hit on 
the head by a large china ornament in an 
over-furnished room. For an imperceptible 
period of time he lost consciousness and 
leant quite still against the back of the chair 
he was sitting in. 

Having been brought up properly to these 
moments which occur in teashops as well 
as at the Beau Site, Jane Pringle looked 
away while this was happening. She did 
not see him count out his money with per- 
spiring difficulty to the last shilling. She 
did not see him thrust three coppers under 
his plate. She just heard his sepulchral 
voice saying : " Shall we go now ! " At 
that she rose from the table and followed 
him out of the room. 

Such functions of Stanley Moxham's 
brain as were still within his control, 
were working very hard while Jane Pringle 
was in the ladies' dressing-room. This 
extravagance in which he had involved him- 
self, would put him out of gear financially 
for some time. He was a whole week's rent 
in arrears for his bed-sitting-room in the 
Goldhawk Road. This could only be made 
good by strenuous economies. No more 
films on Saturday night for quite a long 
time. There must be reductions in cigar- 
ettes. For a while at least there could be 
no sardines at breakfast. This was terrible. 
That tin of sardines with his breakfast on 
the top of the chest of drawers in his bed- 
sitting-room, was one of the welcome sights 
in life when he rose in the morning. 

Was any woman worth such sacrifices as 
these ? While he waited for Jane Pringle, 
he came to the conclusion she was not. 
Had the food they had just consumed 
actually given him as much pleasure as the 
sight of that tin of sardines on the chest of 
drawers in the morning ? It had not. Was 
that Gollancz 1914 as thirst-quenching as a 
pint of cool ale in the bar parlour of a quiet 
little pub ? So far from quenching his 
thirst, he now felt an outrageous desire to 
drink plain water and plenty of it. And 
as for the suit on his back ! Twenty-one 
shillings ! And it no more belonged to him 
than the livery of the attendants in the 
gentlemen's cloak-room. 

What had happened to him ? Had he 
gone daft ? Nearly four pounds in a few 
hours, and what had he got for it ? Were 
all those other people who had been dining 
there spending as much money as that ? 
They must be. Then everyone was daft. 
He began to make calculations on the 



amount of money spent in London in one 
niglit on the same amount of amusement as 
he had had that evening. A glazed look 
came into his eye and was still there when 
Jane Pringle, thoroughly satisfied with her 
evening's entertainment, came out of the 
ladies' dressing-room. 

" Do you want a taxi ? " he asked her. 
What was a taxi to her ? He was going to 
walk back to the Goldhawk Road. 

*' I can't stand those taxis," she said. 
** I'm going by Underground." 

He walked with her as far as Charing 
Cross. He realised that people in the street 
were thinking what toffs they were. It was 
a hollow triumph. The effect of the cham- 
pagne had all gone, leaving a consuming 
thirst. He had put his last threepence under 
the plate for the waiter. He knew what 
sort of a toff he would feel when finally he 
reached the Goldhawk Road on foot that 
night and divested himself of the clothes 
that did not belong to him. 

They said good night at the Charing Cross 

*' I hope we shall meet again," said Miss 

In a last effort to appear as one whose 
solicitors abide in the neighbourhood of 
Oxford Circus, he hoped so too. 


They did meet again. It was three weeks 
later. On a Shepherd's Bush 'bus, going in 
the direction of Regent Street one morning, 
Stanley Moxham found himself sitting oppo- 
site to Jane Pringle. She had no appoint- 
ndent for the cinema with Mr. Lush that 
evening. She was dressed as a girl is dressed 
who says to her mother : " I'm coming 
straight back this evening." 

" Good morning," said Mr. Moxham with 
such wealth of satire as even the poorest of 
us are rich in. 

"Good morning," said Miss Pringle in 
the same tone of voice. 

" How is the Rolls 1 " inquired Mr. Mox- 

" Father's sold it," said Miss Pringle, " to 
a firm of solicitors near Oxford Circus." 


T^TE had a fir tree in our house 

^ At Christinas time, and filled the boughs 

With starry gauds and candles lit 
Among the dusky green of it. 

We had our guests, and Father smiled 
Giving a gaud to every child 
Until at last the tree was dark 
And spent each tiny candle -spark. 

Then round the tree we made a chain 
Of children round and round again, 
Singing a song of joy and laud 
To that good man who gave the gaud. 

But outside in the night there flamed 
Ten thousand gauds that no -one claimed, 
A tree lit up by God*s good rule 
That shone in an unending Yule. 


" As the mother stood at the open door they looked at each other. That look said not only all that they wanted to Pay, 
but some things which they had never found courage to utter. Margaret felt ' this is our good-bye ; our last look. 





ND I don't know how. on earth 

we are going to manage without 

« _ you," Mrs. Bartlett was saying. 

Margaret bestowed upon her mother and 
the bared room her curious drifting smile ; 
the smile which, lately, she seemed to have 
cultivated. She did not quite see how her 
family would manage without her ; that 
was true : on the other hand, how gloriously 
glad they were to get rid of her ! 

" For you, Margaret, are the man of the 

" Many families," returned Margaret, 
smiling more oddly, " manage without a 

" If we want anything done, or anything 
found ; if it comes to driving in a nail, 
or mending the springs of an easy chair ; 
or a new washer on the tap — all those 
jobs ! For your father is useless. And when 

one is ill— oh Margaret, you've been so 
tender and so strong. You're going to 
marry a rich man, but what a wife you 
would make for a poor one!" 

At the end of her involved, congratulatory 
sentence Mrs. Bartlett burst into tears. 
She cried like the late Victorian that she 
was ! 

Margaret stood staring numbly out of the 
window ; her face hard, yet twitching. 
She saw the things which she had seen all 
her life ; and which she was so glad to 

Yet was she so very glad ? That was 
her secret : wild horses should not drag 
it from her. But the way to keep a secret 
was to keep control, and at this crisis she 
dreaded emotion. 

For years she had been ardent to go. 

The peaceful life of the little town had 




strangled lier. When she looked down at 
the cheerful pavements — so clean, so prettily 
red-bricked ; and when she saw the neat 
procession of spinsters, she had felt in 

" Am I some day to look as they do 1 to 
move as they do ? to feel as they do ? But 
they have no feeling at all." 

The urge of her own life had been too 
strong for her to admit that romance can 
exist in the body of a maiden lady turned 

She had flamed to go ; to get away for 
ever. And now she was going. The moment 
had come and she dreaded it. 

Mrs, Bartlett'3 anguished sniffs continued. 
The daughter swung round. 

"Don't be a fool, Mother. We can't 
bear it." 

" My dear — a fool. If I had called my 
mother that she would have fainted and 
never come to." 

They laughed shrilly ; it was like the 
clamour of cocks. 

" You would have laid her on the sofa," 
tittered Margaret. "At the end of fifteen 
years, some inquisitive visitor would have 
tactlessly asked, * Excuse me, who is that 
lady on the sofa ? She is always there.' " 

" We should have put her on the spare 
bed, Margaret." 

" We should want that bed. Mother. 
The attic would be the place — and I'm glad 
to see you're cheering up." 

" If only you'd let me come to the ship 
with you ! " 

" Will I let you come ! Most decidedly 
not ! You shall meet my ship when I 
come home." 

" You won't come for years. In every 
letter, so you tell me, James makes a 
point of not being able to leave his business. 
By the time he can leave it, you'll have a 
bunch of children — and they can't be left. 
I've lost you. I wish I could get used to 
the idea. I wish I could become indifferent. 
We've made a brave shot at indifference the 
last six weeks, haven't we ? " 

" Mother ! This last six weeks ! They 
have been so stony, so horrible. Aren't 
we, in our hearts, glad that they are over ; 
that to-morrow I sail ? People can't keep 
up this pose too long — they'd — burst ! " 

She laughed again ; and her mother 
jumped- as if a hatpin were dug into her 

" Let's go downstairs. Family life— 
that's the thing for us." Margaret was 
robust. " And do remember, you most 

ungrateful woman, that you've got three 
other daughters ; and two sons and a 
husband. What more do you want ? " 

" I want you, my dear ; because you are 
so tender and so strong. You are like a 
really thrilling dress, Margaret ; fragile, and 
yet it won't wear out. The sort of dress 
that I've never been able to buy. What 
very drab lives we've all lived ! If I were 
younger, I'd envy you your millionaire. I 
might try to steal him." 

" A millionaire ! Come, come ! Jim has 
never once said that." 

" But he's the head of a very big business. 
What sort of business, Margaret ? He's 
very vague." 

" Vague ! Is he ? I suppose he's got 
the old-fashioned male idea — that women 
don't take any interest. I think he calls 
his business real estate. Something to do 
with houses." 

" And he's built one for you ? " 

" Yes, so he says." 

" You don't seem to care, Margaret." 

" Not a bit. I'm a person with only one 
idea at a time. I can't love with a leg each 
side of the ocean. To-day James doesn't 
matter, and you do." 

" To-morrow ? " asked her mother. 

" I turn my face to him, naturally." 

Margaret became frigid. She walked to 
the window and again looked down ; a very 
long way down, for this was a tall, incon- 
venient old house. 

Mrs. Bartlett studied the delicately neat 
head, the white nape of a neck, the square 
resolute shoulders. Something in the girl's 
rigid attitude started terror in this not very 
subtle woman. 

" Margaret ! You're a funny sort of 
bride ! " 

" Why ? What do you expect me to do ? " 

" I can't tell you what I expect. But 
I'm going to ask one question. Quite sure 
that you love James ? " 

" Should I marry him if I didn't ? " 

" I don't know. Girls have." 

" But girls don't — now. Of course I 
love him. How dare you, Mother ? " 

" Felt sure I should make you angry, but 
the question popped out." 

" Pop it back, for mercy's sake. Why 
shouldn't I love James ? You like him, 
don't you ? " 

" He's a delightful young man. But it's 
four years since he went out ; and he may 
have changed." 

" I may have changed too, Mother. 
What's the good of digging into this busi- 


ness so minutely ? I am going to marry 
Jim, and that's that. I'm in love with 
him ; shouldn't marry him if I wasn't. 
He's in love with me—at least he says so ; 
frequently, skilfully—and I don't believe 
we ever go deeper into a man's mind than 

" We mustn't expect to, Margaret. They 
never love us as we love them. They have 
other interests — naturally ! " 

*' An obsolete idea." Margaret was cool ; 
she still looked down from the window. 
"An idea which has made them," she 

*' All who ? " Her mother came and 
looked over her shoulder. 

'' Miss This, That and the Other, dar- 
ling ! ", Margaret was uncomfortably 
riotous.. ''There they go ! And all their 
lives they have kow-towed to men ; taken 
pains with the creatures — and never caught 
one ! " 

" Catching one ! You didn't angle for 
James.'' ■ 

" Not I. He simply swam up ; pleading 
for my hook in his gills. And there's the 
door -bell.: Perhaps a last wedding present 
— so tiresome ; when we're all packed up. 
What an ungrateful brute I am. Or perhaps 
it's somebody come to say good-bye — and 
I just, can't bear it. Mother!" Her 
voice suddenly squeaked (so very unlike 
Margaret with her deep, ding-dong tone !). 
" I look like cast iron, but I'm really only 
a poor wax doll that has been left in the 
sun. So you'll go down, won't you ? " 

As the mother stood at the open door 
they looked at each other. That look 
said not only all that they wanted to say, 
but some things which they had never 
found courage to utter. Margaret felt 
** this is our good-bye ; our last look." 
Oh, they would be bumping up against each 
other at intervals until the taxi came to- 
morrow morning ! They would be, this 
evening for instance, quite hilarious, for 
there was a farevell family supper party. 
And, as Margaret had stoutly said and as 
her mother had timidly admitted to her 
own heart, a ghastly idea that party — 
extremely akin to the meal which you 
return to after the funeral. 

" I am dead," Margaret had caustically 
told her family, " and the sooner I'm buried 
the better." She no longer counted in their 
lives, and whenever one of them said ** / 
shall go there,'' or, " They will he coming, then,'" 
a strained silence had fallen over the circle : 
silence and averted glances — for upon these 


forthcoming dates Margaret would be gone. 
She would be well on her way to the other 
side of the world. 

She looked now at the thick small figure 
standing by the open door ; its head gently 
cocked, listening for sounds of entry below. 
That jolly little snub nose ; that healthy 
skin with the lace-like wrinkles ; faint, fine 
dubious wrinkles, indicative only of the 
petty and the nagging cares. Mrs. Bartlett, 
although her attitude towards life was 
plaintive, with the air of ''the things I 
might have done, the person that I might 
have been," was commonplace. She had 
the verbose tenderness of the rather stupid 
person : that and the narrow view. Mar- 
garet, looking at her— this last look of 
reality— thought, " I should find no mercy 

If she went down to her father in his 
study and dug him out of his books ; made 
him human for an hour or so, said to him, 
'' I can't marry Jim. It has become 
impossible," then her father would ask 
quite dispassionately for reasons. When he 
got them he would weigh them up, give his 
intelligent verdict. For he, in his aloof 
way, was subtle, and you were dealing with 
a mental equal. Her mother would merely 
be vociferously stupid. 

Perhaps, with men, there would always 
be mercy, with women, always the sense 
of rivalry and the age-old enmity — ready 
to flare up ! 

The door shut ; her mother went away. 

She sat in this bedroom which had been 

hers ever since she left school ten years 

ago. She besought its very details, saying : 

" Bite yourself into my brain." 

Ten years ! She was twenty-seven and 
certainly old enough to know her own 
mind, old enough not to make a fool of 
herself, old enough not to bring disgrace 
and scandal on her family ; be a weary 
charge on it for the rest of her days. 
. That was so, wasn't it ? Then why all 
this probing and ctruggle ? Why this 
perplexity, this volley of intangible ques- 
tioning ? 

She looked round the room ; so gaunt, 
so stripped. There were the bright places 
on the wallpaper — squares of colour, 
undimmed — where she had taken down 
pictures which had hung there. Family 
photographs. They were great, as a family, 
on photographs. Margaret was taking a 
collection. There were her empty book- 
shelves, there was her austere dressing-table. 
There, upon the floor, was her cabin trunk. 



The rest of her luggage, several crates full 
of clothes, house linen, wedding presents 
— had gone off to the ship days ago. She 
was certainly sailing to-morrow. She was 
so tangled up with affairs that no struggle 
of the heart could save her. 

Even her father, if she rushed down to 
him noY/ and put the position, would say, 

nettled r.nd bewildered, " but, my dear, 

why didn't you tell me this before we were 
put to such an expense ? *' 

That was it. She had left it too late. 
Also, was she not perhaps mad ? Was it 
so certain that &he no longer loved Jim ? 

Could you trust to your instinct or did 
instinct play you tricks ? Was instinct 
like a jealous woman ; wanting to do you 
an ill turn ? 

She sat on the wide window-ledge, asking 
these perturbing questions. 

It was the middle of the morning, and 
the ladies of the tiny town walked amiably 
in the sun, carrying small baskets. There 
went old Miss Wyman with that almost 
imperceptible paralytic jerk of the head. 
And there Miss Sophy Deacon, two 
decade yoimger : with her jaunty step 
and her short skirts and her bony legs and 
her weather-beaten face. Miss Wyman was 
ancient. Miss Deacon was merely elderly. 
Oh — horrible, touching ! Was instinct try- 
ing to chain her to this town, so that she 
might turn into an unwanted woman as 
these were ? 

She could see, by cricking her neck, the 
shingled tower of the parish church. She 
remembered how she and Jim used to go 
to Evensong — and he would frankly hug 
her in the dark street coming home. 

How happy they had been ; how furiously, 
how frankly in love with each other. 

When he decided to emigrate, their 
hearts were desperate. She remembered 
that night when he begged and prayed her 
to marry him first and come out with 
him ; without a penny ; just to take pot- 
luck together. She had wanted to go ; she 
had almost gone. Then the influence of 
her family kept her here in the country 

She wished now that she had gone with 
him ; while love T^as piping hot ! Delay 
was so dangerous ; family ties could be so 
destructive. She looked down at the neat 
procession of women ; some tripping along, 
some gossiping ; some married, most single. 
She felt quite sure that they also would 
put family first ; that was the tradition of 
this town. She recalled the story of Miss 

-Susan Wingfield, who, seventy years ago, 
had insisted on her lover marrying her 
younger sister — because she had found out 
that the younger sister wanted him. Marry- 
ing ethics had not changed much since 
then, in this slow town. 

That was it ; to stand aside ; to heap 
riches which naturally were yours upon 

" Even I," thought Margaret, " have been 
doing it." She recalled her service, constant, 
ungrudging, to her family. She had not done 
it for love, nor for weakness ; but as an 
escape for vigour. Yet it did become 
wearisome to — let us say — always sew on 
buttons for other people, and often, since 
Jim went, she had thought with bounding 
joy of the day when she'd go to him ; when 
they would cut all ties and live in a new 
land together. 

The time had come ; that day would be 
to-morrow. And she was merely fitting, 
with a sick mind, upon the window-ledge ; 
looking at spinster women passing down the 

She had, in her trunk, a wad of his recent 
letters. She had ghoulishly known, as she 
packed them, that there they were, so that 
she might read them perpetually upon the 
long voyage — and keep herself up to the 
mark ! She distrusted those letters. They 
might have come from a strange man or 
from some Shadow. They did not seem 
to be letters from the hearty, common-sense 
Jim that she had known. Was she, then, 
going to the other side of the earth, to live 
alone with some emotional alien ? 

A curious thing that her mother had once 
said came into her mind : 

" Your father and I could never have 
lived together so long if we had ever left 

That was it with Jim ; she could never 
leave off. Not safe to leave off ; for it 
might become impossible to kick yourself 
into place again. 

She sat reading his disconcerting letters ; 
she absorbed the spirit which ran through 
them. It was feverish ; it wasn't manly. 
It wasn't like an Englishman : really Jim 
seemed to have turned himself into a 
foreigner. This was the most severe verdict 
she could utter ! 

The door burst open ; she made a grab 
at those letters. 

Her sister, looking down at the open 
trunk, said : 

" Don't bother ! Can't be done ! I've 
caught you. What an old romantic it is ! 


And — oh, Megsie ! — what are we going to 
do without you ? And do you think you 
could possibly mend these gloves ? " 

She threw them into Margaret's lap, then 
seized her round the neck and purred at 
her like a kitten. 

"Get away, Hetty. Oh— don't ; all of 
you! I can't bear it. I shall lock my 
bedroom door to-night. I won't have you 
dropping in to sit on the edge of the bed 
for a few last words. I may be dead ; but 
you simply shan't hold an inquest on my 

Margaret, hysterically cackling, got her 
sewing things, started mending the gloves. 
I' Who's downstairs ? " she asked abruptly. 
^^ " Old Miss Dewsnap," Hester told her. 
" They're talking in the drawing-room. I 
heard Mother say that it was nice to get a 
girl settled, and that although she hated 
you to go abroad, at least you would be 
in the Empire. I suppose it's all right 
to swank like that— about the Empire, I 
mean ? " 

" Well, of course," said Margaret absently. 
She looked up at the little sister, ten 
years younger than she was. Mrs. Bartlett 
had produced an erratic family ; first two 
sons and Margaret ; ten years after, three 
girls. Hester was the eldest of the three. 

" Caught you reading Jim's letters, didn't 
I ? In love with him — are you ? Must be 
rather jolly to feel like that. But it seems 
so queer and shabby to me ; he hasn't sent 
you any presents and he's not even coming 
home to marry you decently at the parish 
church. Father thinks it rather odd." 
" Does he ? " 

There was a flicker, just rapid sunshine, 
across Margaret's cool face. 

'* Yes ; heard him say so. But Father's 
always up in the clouds ; no good taking the 
least notice of him. He knows Jim can't 
leave his budding business. Showed him 
the letter, didn't you ? Passed round, 
wasn't it ? Written for the family circle, 
evidently. All the same, I think he ought 
to let business go bust ! Wonder you didn't 
insist on it. I shall when my time comes." 
** Don't suppose your time will ever 
come." Margaret was grim. " Marriage 
isn't fashionable in our town." 

" It isn't. Lucky for you that Jim turned 
up, wasn't it ? I shan't stay in this town ; 
none of us three mean to. We rely on you, 
Margaret, to produce suitable millionaires." 
" Jim," said Margaret savagely — for they 
all harped on this ! — " is not a millionaire. 
He's never said so." 


" Modesty, my dear ; modesty— and part 
of the pleasant surprise he's got in store 
for you. We're all really banking on you, 
Margaret ; we expect you to find suitable 
husbands, to send us home most expensive 
presents, to— well, there's no end to the 
benefits you'll pour on us. You really are 
an honour and an asset to your family. 
And isn't it jolly— I'm to have this room* 
all to myself. The man's coming to re-paper 
it to-morrow afternoon ; directly the funeral's 

" Why did I say funeral ? Horrid bad 
taste ; but it was your idea, to begin with. 
You keep saying you are dead to us. Mother 
is going to let me choose fresh cretonne for 
curtains and chair covers— but I must make 
them myself." 

" You'll botch them." Margaret was 
vexed. " Why didn't Mother get the stuff 
and let me make them ? " 

" Because " — Hester was grave — " even 
she had the decency to realise that we've 
all sponged on you quite enough. Heaven 
only knows what we are going to do without 

" Suppose I said I wouldn't go. Suppose 
I say I mean to stop ! " 
" Margaret ! How awful ! " 
" But you love me, don't you ? '* 
" That's all right. But we don't want 
you blocking up the gangway, darling. Think 
how poor we are ! Think how crowded we 
are ! I'm looking forward to a little more 
elbow-room and a slight increase of my dress 

Hester sat on the window-ledge, idly 
swinging her foot, urbanely grinning. 

" There will be the handsome presents 
you'll send over. And the occasional ten- 
ner which you'll never miss. I do envy 
you, Margaret. And yet I'm sorry for 

" Sorry ! " said Margaret, and again that 
rapid sunshine — the ray of hope — flickered 
on her face. 

** Going all that way to get married, I 
mean. Doesn't seem decent ; sort of run- 
ning after him. He meets the ship and 
then — what then ? " 

" We've talked it over dozens of times." 
Margaret seemed sullen. ** He brings his 
partner's wife, Mrs. Yates, to the ship to 
meet me and she mothers me until the 
wedding ; which will be quite soon." 
" Wonder if she's tb nice woman." 
" I haven't heard from her for a long 
time ; but from the voluminous letters she 
did write; telling me just what. sort of 




underclothes to take out, slie seemed to be 

There was faint, weary satire in Margaret's 

" I know " — Hester stared — '' we've got 
one like that downstairs. Has it ever 
occurred to you that we should never dare 
tell our mother anything that was real 1 
She'd kiss and peck at us, like some frightened 
old bird. 

" I'm going to give you another kiss, 
Margaret, whether you like it or not, and 
then I'm off." 

Margaret was again alone. She arose 
stiffly and put the letters back into the cabin 
trunk. She was shivering. She thought, 
" If I get a chill, would that save me ? Would 
that keep me here ? " 

She knew that nothing short of a paralytic 
stroke would keep her here. Her family 
expected her to go ; they had determined 
on it ; her place was filled. They really 
might have waited over the weekrend before 
papering this room. Her heart was resent- 

All this pressure from the home side, 
this pulling from the other, went against 
her instinct. Yet could you trust instinct ? 

She sat upon the window-ledge again. 
The church clock struck. By this time 
to-morrow she would be on board ship ; 
she would have said good-bye to her father 
and she didn't suppose she would ever see 
him again. He was an old, frail man. 
That would be the poignant moment, when 
his vague, kindly face became blurred ; 
when those patient, remotely shining eyes 
looked into hers for the last time. 

There he would stand ; the helpless, 
slovenly figure — and she would remember, 
with curious heart-break, how often she had 
picked white cotton off his shoulders or 
remarked to him that his trousers were 
frayed at the bottom. 

Sometimes upon board ship, when a girl 
went out to be married to one man, she 
met another ; and liked him better. " But 
I'm not made that way," thought Margaret 
staidly ; '* I could never do anything so 
outrageous." No ; she wanted Jim ; she 
was still in love with the Jim that she knew 
— but he had, somehow, gone. She had 
mislaid him. The man who had pelted her 
for the last twelve months with perplexing 
letters merely estranged her. He im- 
perilled her trust in him. 

She could not pretend to explain it ; but 
there the terror was. And there was the 
desperate holding back, stiffening herself 

helplessly against all the pressure which 
was sending her across the seas to him. 

In the great tragedies there need be no 
blood shed. 

She was thinking this and she was also 
pondering upon the dreadful flexibility of 
human relationship. She had loved the 
Jim that she knew, but the seas had 
swallowed him — her Jim might just as well 
have been drowned for all the use that 
he was ! Her mother's queer saying came 
into her mind, " We could - never have 
gone on living together if we had ever 
left off." 

Well — and there it was ! Her parents 
had lived together for more than thirty 
years. They had been happy ; in a way. 
If one died, the one left would be mutilated ; 
finished. To be happy — in a way ; perhaps 
that was all you had a right to expect. 

Lovers— married or single — dared not get 
out of each other's stride ; Jim never should 
have emigrated. Or she should have gone 
with him, as he wished. 

Her head dropped hopelessly into her 
hands ; mumbled little words that might 
be scraps of prayer trickled through her 
fingers. She was horribly unnerved ; yet 
it was quite unlike the Bartletts to be 
dramatic. Bartletts had only one word, 
" hysteria," for this sort of thing. 

She would have plenty of time to think 
this affair out upon the voyage. Her 
head lifted and a certain amount of vitality 
crept across her ghostly face. She might 
end by throwing those letters overboard ; 
and, herself, slipping after them. But no 
Bartlett had even been eccentric, to say 
nothing of being lunatic. Suicide was 
lunacy ; moreover, and this was a strong 
pull, she wished to know the end of the 
story. She would regard their position 
simply as a novel — and the best novels (her 
mouth was whimsical) did not have happy 

W^as it possible that Jim, at his end, 
was feeling as she felt ? That would make 
things easier. That perhaps was the secret 
of these bizarre letters. He also was merely 
kicking himself into place. There they were, 
like a pair of restive horses, one on each side 
of the ocean. 

It would certainly help if he, also, was 
frightened to death of matrimony ; if, to 
him also, the memory of their long-ago love- 
making was only a dream ; faintly distaste- 
ful, yet not quite bad enough to be a night- 
mare ! Then when they met they could 
be candid ; they could say good-bye — with 



a long cool handshake. As to what would 
happen afterwards — she did not know. 

If she was going to marry him— and 
no doubt she was doomed to — ^there would 

new life — to have more money than you 
knew what to do with. That, in itself, 
might make amends for everything. 

Money was a powerful factor. 

She need not see overmuch of him ; he'd 
be engrossed by his business. The whole 
relation would be makeshift : but make- 

" * And now I'm going to take you back to the city. 
We'll find out about the sailings.' ' Sailings ? ' said 
Margaret in a clear new voice. ' I'm going to stay.' ' 

be, at least, the consolation of riches ; and 
there would not be the ignominy of marry- 
ing for money; for he had been bitterly 
poor when they became engaged. 

It would be refreshing— to the point of 

.shift might be more comfortable than 

She jumped up, feeling " too much of this 
dissection will drive me mad." 

She went to the wash-stand ; thought 



she'd dip her face into cold water — and the 
jug was empty ! 

It was empty by accident and because the 
house had been upside down with the bustle 
of her departure ; yet to her involved brain 
it was designed. They even grudged her a . 
drop of water ! They were in such a hurry 
to get rid of her, in such a hurry to partake 
of all the benefits she was going to bestow 
upon them. That was it. 

She walked back to the window ; held 
her brow against the cold glass. They were 
merciless, covetous, the members of her 

Her whole mood was moonshine. That 
was the fruit of these long engagements ; 
you got your values muddled up. 

In a few weeks she and Jim would stand 
in the clear light of their solitary and their 
married love. 

She would then laugh at all these thoughts 
and be ashamed and keep them for ever- 
lasting, locked away from him. 

He met the boat. There was that gawky 
constraint of a meeting in such conditions. 
As she watched him looking after her 
luggage, she felt, with an unhappy stab, 
" thank goodness he had the sense not to 
kiss me." 

For she had known at once, directly she 
caught sight of him, that her every dread 
had come true. She was fastidiously 
indifferent to him, and there was hardly a 
man on the ship that she would not sooner 
have married. 

She watched him. He was still very big 
and handsome, yet he seemed worn, furtive. 
She thought, "Is he dissipated ? Is that 
the reason ? " All through the long voyage 
she had been patiently probing for some 
definite reason, because she distrusted the 
impalpable. Bartletts had practical minds 
and Margaret wanted something she could 
bite on. 

When they got away from the mob and 
clamour, when her luggage had been disposed, 
of — sent off to the place where it had got 
to go — they looked at each other steadily. 
Margaret felt as if, suddenly, every other 
living creature in the world had whiffled 
away and here they stood, the two of them, 
with ungarbed emotions. 

Jim said, in an oii-hand voice and turning 
from her brusquely : , 

*' First of all, I thought luncheon in one 
of the hotels — we've got some fine ones. 
And then I thought — a picnic in the woods. 
They're quite close ; you'd hardly believe 

how close. Things over here are so entirely 

Margaret asked with suspicion and re- 
proach : 

" But where 's Mrs. Yates. Why didn't 
you bring her ? " 

*' I want to tell you about her. That's 
why I thought a picnic — quieter, more to 
ourselves." He was looking wretched. 
" Look here, we're going to drive out ; 
here's the thing. I've got a basket of grub 

He stopped ; she felt herself shoved into 
the car ; Jim's hand quite rough at the small 
of her back. They drove ofi through the 
city, which was handsome yet, to her, 
unfinished. As she put it to her tidy mind, 
there seemed too many loops and ends ; 
there was a cobbled-up bit there — it was 
like bad needlework ; the sort of work that 
Hester did. And she wondered, with sick 
fondness, how that child was getting on with 
the chair covers. 

Dear little Hester ! It would be lovely 
to send her ten-pound notes. 

She felt with despair as they drove off : 

"Now he'll cuddle me, of course." 

Wasn't that natural ? Four years apart, 
and not one kiss yet. 

To her relief, he dug himself quite stub- 
bornly into his corner ; and he, also, looked 
out of the window. 

The city ended abruptly. It was as if 
(Margaret's tidy mind again) you had left 
the work unfinished ; the needle sticking 
in and threaded with a short cotton. She 
stared blindly at a wide road ; at a land- 
scape which, beautiful as it was, made no 
appeal to her. The first sick, swift longing 
for England poured over her like a mill- 

Was she never going to see home again ? 
Was she never any more to walk through 
those May days — mysterious, chill — when 
apple -blossom seems sullen and silent water 
looks like smoked glass ? 

" You'll like the wood when we get 
there," said Jim casually. " It's fine. 
There are lots of fine things out here ; but 
they are never the same as the things at 
home. You must get used to that — if you 

" If I stay ! " 

She felt herself bump galvanically on 
the seat and henceforth she knew that she 
was merely screwing herself down on it. 

"Well, you'll see." He was icy. "There's 
a lot of talking to do. And here we are. 
Get out. I'll send the car away, shall I ? " 


Yes ; send it away." Margaret was 
famt. And she saw that it was a hired car. 
Why was that ? She watched it go, but 
she bitterly wanted the driver to stay. 
There was something dreadful in the idea 
of being alone in a great big wood with 
Jim ; yet vath what rapture they would 
once have received the idea ! 

*' Impressive ; don't you think ? " He 
marched ahead with the basket ; he indi- 
cated magnificent trees; a toss of the 
hand—sort of " there they are ! " 

*' Yes ; but not sweet — as the woods are 
at home," said Margaret quite politely. 

They were being polite— after those 
radiant letters of his ! 

What did those letters mean ? She would 
know soon. 

" Here," said Jim, pointing to a clearing, 
*' don't you think ? " 

Without waiting, he dropped the basket 
and dropped himself also, with the air of 
being dead tired. He was looking up at 
her ; with brutish, pleading adoration ; with 
dreadful pain. 

There ■ was something behind that look. 
She sat down beside him and there they 
were — as unloverlike as could be ! 

Margaret regarded his shabby boots with 
the crinkled toe caps. 

Millionaires were always shabby. Wasn't 
that their hall-mark ? Little Hester had 
once said : 

''He'll meet you looking like a tramp. 
That's their pose ; a sort of insolence." 

He was not a tramp ; but he was shabby 
and, also, he looked ill. Yet Margaret, 
always so compassionate, merely thought; 
" He's got plenty of money to pay for nurses, 
specialists ; " anything he may happen to 

He was a stranger and she couldn't be 
bothered with him. She would tell him so, 
but it might be better to have lunch first. 

An empty stomach was dangerous ; 
they might over-emphasise the position ; 
quarrel, become violent, coarse. Good food 
gave you philosophy and breeding. He was 
unpacking the basket and she was glad to 
see a bottle of red wine. 

He spread it all out, in a hopeless nervous 
way, and she never offered to help ; she 
took not the least interest. She only 
watched. He looked up swiftly. 
'' You've changed, Margaret." 
" Yes ? So have you." She was 

*' I don't think they've forgotten anything. 
Mustard ? Yes ; here it is. Sorry it's only 


cold chicken ; such a lame sort of choice. 
But I— I couldn't be bothered." 

There were greaseproof plates, and he 
was pilmg up one for her as he spoke. 

" Why couldn't you be bothered ? " she 
asked him, with dreadful emphasis. 

" That's what we're coming to ; but let's 
eat first, Margaret." 

It was a dreadful meal ; it was a wicked 
assault upon that merry word " picnic." 
Margaret was remembering other picnics; 
probably he was also remembering. Yet 
she could not hope to probe his mind. Four 
years away ! And in this strange place. 

What had he been doing ? Why did he 

look as he did look — ^worn out, secretive ? 

And where was Mrs. Yates— the loquacious 

matron who was to have chaperoned her ? 

This seemed to give a clue. 

" I shall finish my lunch first," thought 
Margaret sensibly ; and she let him fill her 
glass again. But you cannot eat and drink 
for ever ; there does come an end to such 
silent sipping and munching. 
They had finished. 

He was tidily screwing papers up, stuffing 
everything that was left into the basket. 
Then he said : 

" Shall we walk on ? " 
" No. Why ? And don't you smoke ? 
You always did." 

"Did — my dear, he warmed. "Long 
ago, there's been an end to all my dids,'\ 

'' That means " — Margaret heard her 
voice go ringing very joyfully through the 
big trees — " that you don't love me, that 
you don't want to marry me. I'm one of 
the ' dids.' " 

She laughed. It was such a merry laugh. 
** Why," she demanded, "instead of 
writing such reams and reams of non- 
sense " 

" Yes," he intervened eagerly. " Glad 
you weren't taken in by it." 

He had his head back against the tree ; 
he stretched himself slightly — a gesture 
which said that something, at least, was off 
his mind. 

Margaret looked at him. She was, 
perhaps, a fool not to marry him : very 
handsome and also very rich. The latter 
fact was proved by those shocking shoes 
and by another thing her sharp eyes suddenly 
saw : a ragged shirt collar. She absorbed 
what Hester had called the insolence of rich 

Now that she was not going to have him, 
now that he was opening his hand to let her 
escape, a very little of his old magic returned ; 



he became once more, yet only distantly, 
that Jim who had hugged her all down the 
dark street going home from Evensong. 
He had hugged her in the little town to 
which she would return and be a spinster 
for everlasting. It was a sick prospect. 

** That's the way with women. We don't 
know what we do want," she thought 

*' Every letter that you wrote back " — 
Jim was mournful and quaint — " threw a 
pail of cold water over mine. Yet I kept 

*' Those letters, they were not you," she 

'' Am I me now, Margaret ; the me that 
you knew and that you got engaged to ? " 

" Not a bit." 

As she said this she became animated ; 
she could breathe. She seemed to see, at the 
end of this dreary tunnel, a way of escape. 

" You've changed too." He was stead- 
fastly staring. *' I suppose we should have 
been prepared for change, yet it's a shock. 
We never should have been parted, Mar- 
garet ; most unsafe. I ought to have stayed 
at home ; or you should have come out 
here with me." 

'* I do wish I had." She was fervent. 

They exchanged one haggard look. They 
were thinking of those courting days in 
England ; so very young, so amazingly 
sweet — and it was this quality, of courting, 
that they had lost. Margaret did not wish 
to be made love to ; no, never any more. 
Yet she realised that she had lost some- 
thing that was beyond price. Nothing 
could buy it ; nothing could make up for 
its loss. No amount of money ! 

Here they sat in their twenties ; and they 
might have been seventy, for all the 
passion that she felt ! 

" I have longed for you so, Margaret ; I 
had to make you come out — at any cost. 
It's going to be a big cost. I warn you. 
I've felt — just one hour with Margaret ; in 
a wood, or on a hill — somewhere outside. 
I must have that." 

He stopped. 

She had been absently looking through 
the wood ; which was just like the woods 
at home ; and yet altogether different. 
The intangible again — and she was so sick 
of fumbling about in the dimness of analysis. 
Why was the wood different ? She could 
not say ; nor could she have said why she 
knew that the very climate, also, would 
cheat her. It would be subject, perhaps, to 
violence, but, as a rule, there would be 

neither subtlety nor deviation. It would 
never be the uncertain, provoking climate 
that she loved and knew. 

Yet she was going back to England — and 
there was mournful triumph to that thought. 

" And how about afterwards ? " she 
asked ; turning to look coolly at him, her 
brows raised. 

" Yes ; I'm going to tell you ; but it's 
a hard job ; and I can't quite find the words 
to begin with. I don't quite know how 
you'll take it." 

"I'm equal to taking anything that I 
can grasp. Do believe me." 

'* Believe you — of course. Don't I know 
your courage and don't I know what a 
brick you were to those at home ? They 
sponged on you, Margaret." 

" But now " — she looked at him mean- 
ingly — " they'll have to do without me, 
won't they ? " 

Jim bounced up ; he walked in little 
circles upon this green, cleared space — as 
if he were shackled to it. 

" If only I'd had courage — your sort of 
courage. Margaret, I ought to h-ave told 
you the truth a year ago. I meant to. I 
kept putting it off, and then it was too late." 

" Too late," said Margaret, staring up. 

And she could see herself sitting upon the 
window-ledge at home, that last day, think- 
ing "it is too late." 

She stood close to him ; she touched his 

" Tell me, Jim." 

" Yes ; in a minute. I do funk it, and 
you won't wonder — when you hear. Hasn't 
it all struck you as very queer 1 I've never 
even kissed you yet. But you don't seem 
to mind, and that is queer too:" 

" I don't mind ; not a bit. I wish you'd 
say what you've got to say. I like plain 
sailing. I've been — I'll tell you now — driven 
half mad by your letters this last twelve 
months. I can't quite express it. They 
were hardly you." 

She laughed discordantly. 

" A year ago ; that's when it happened." 
He looked at her. 

He was so thin, so furtive. Horrible word 
— furtive ! But she could find no other. 

" Have you been ill ? " she asked abruptly. 

" Very, but only for a little while. I had 
a shock. Don't you remember that some 
of the letters were in pencil ? " 

" Yes. And I wondered." 

" Then, why didn't you ask me why ? " 
He turned fiercely. " Talk about plain 
sailing ! One question from you — some- 



thing probing — would have done the 
trick. We shouldn't be standing here 
now ; thousands of miles from any living 
soul — ^that counts. Why didn't you make 
me say why I couldn't come home to fetch 
you ? How was it I sent no presents ? 
Why didn't you ask me that ? I shall never 
be able to make you understand how I've 
longed for England. You'd never under- 
stand ; unless you stayed here — and you 
won't stay. I had the money saved up ; 
I could have paid my passage home at any 

*' Saved up," she echoed ; and thought 
confusedly, " Do very rich men save up ? " 

*' Callous emigrants don't care," Jim was 
saying drearily, " and foolish emigrants keep 
on snivelling — I wasn't going to be that sort. 
But, all the same, I was sick to come and I 
wish I had." 

" I wish you had." Margaret was fervent. 
If he had come, their love — that precious, 
fragile thing — would have been salved. 

" But the money that I'd got saved up," 
he was telling her, '^ was to pay your passage 
home ; not mine. I've brought you out 
here ; devilish, you'll say — when you've 
heard everything. I simply had to see you ; 
that's all. It was that sort of hunger, the 
hunger that won't stop." 

''I've simply got to know, and at once, 
Jim, what's up. Let me hear something 
that is sane, concrete. I can't fumble and 
fence about any more. Have you com- 
mitted a murder 1 Are you insane ? Have 
you — I can't think of anything else. But 
I'll say this : unless you tell me — now — I'll 
walk off out of this wood and take the 
next boat home. Passage money ! Do you 

suppose I want you to pay that ? We're 
not such paupers. Are you so rich that 
you've lost your manners 1 " 

" Am I so rich ! Margaret ! You've 
dragged it out of me. I haven't got a 
penny, my dear — except that money which 
I won't touch ; your passage money. I'm 
ruined — my partner, Yates, ruined me 
twelve months ago. It bowled me over ; I 
was ill. Then I started writing those 
cracked letters to you ; then I felt — and 
the urge of it grew — that I must see you 
once more ; have you all to myself ; if only 
for half a day. And I knew that if I told 
you the truth, those at home wouldn't let 
you come." 

" What do you really mean by ruin ? " 

She was stunned, and yet in some way 
amazingly relieved. For she knew now 
that she had been prepared for more 
dreadful things. Poverty ! What was that ? 
It merely appealed to her vigour. 

" It's a stark -naked word, Margaret. 
I've got a weekly job — a workman's job. 
It brings in enough to keep one — to keep 
two ; so long as it lasts. That's all. Yates 
and I got out of our depth — speculation ; 
perhaps it wasn't all his fault. Quite easy 
to make a fortune out here ; and more easy 
to lose it. Anyhow, he flitted ; left me to 
stand the racket. I don't know where he 
is ; doesn't matter. 

" And now I'm going to take you back to 
the city. We'll find out about the sailings." 

" Sailings ? " said Margaret in a clear new 
voice. " I'm going to stay." 

" You mean ? " 
• '* I mean — how long does it take to get 
married ? " 


I LAUGH, for Thou hast lifted up from me 
All earthly state 
That I may fare more fast and gay toward Thee, 
Now on the sweeping upland I run light 

Who do not wait 
To dream by any cottage fire at night ; 

Stripped of their rainbow veils my eyes can peer 

And see there burns 
A shining where one whiteness fuses clear- 
Now burdenless I stand, 

Not clutching any toys, into my hand returns, 
Thy longed-for Hand. 





AMY BONDHAM, though far stronger 
than most horses, was beginning to 
feel ill with anxiety, for it was now 
within three days of the date fixed for Mrs. 
Foxinglove's fancy-dress Elizabethan Fair, 
and still no invitation had arrived for her 
from the infamous Theodosia. It could not 
be that a temporary lapse of memory had 
caused Theodosia to forget her existence, 
as she had received plenty of reminders. 
For the last week Amy had been deluging 
her with hospitalities : she had asked her 
to lunch, tea, dinner and supper, all of 
which Mrs, Foxinglove had refused with 
regrets. Amy had even so far humbled 
herself as to get a mutual friend to ask 
Mrs. Foxinglove whether she, Amy, was 
coming to the Elizabethan Fair, and she 
had replied, firmly and perhaps ironically, 
that it was no use trying to get hold of 
Amy, as she was always solidly engaged for 
weeks ahead. But as the Foxinglove had 
asked the people she wanted to secure 
months ahead, this was a very paltry excuse. • 
To the ordinary mind, such a speech 
must have seemed final, but then Amy had 
not an ordinary mind. She meant to go 
to the Elizabethan Fair, and what to others 
spelled *' Defeat " spelled to her " Try again 
and harder." In fact, at this melancholy 
moment she had just tried again. She had 
written a sweet little note to dearest Theo- 
dosia, asking her to come and dine quite 
quietly with her and her husband on June 
18th, which was the night of the Fair, and 
the answer had come back that dearest 
Theodosia was out of town that night. 
Amy read into that mendacious message 
contempt and an iron determination not 
to yield. But then Amy was determined 

For the moment she had winced when 
these words came pattering into the tele- 
phone in the voice of Mrs. Foxinglove's 

butler, and she had an impulse to give up, 
to leave town for a day or two till the party 
was over, and perhaps put in the social 
columns of the leading journals that she 
had been unavoidably prevented from going 
to it. That would be quite true, the un- 
avoidable impediment being the absence of 
an invitation. But her indomitable spirit 
revolted from the thought of retreat : to 
quit London would be equivalent to leaving 
the enemy in possession of the field, and the 
thought of that steeled her again. 

Certainly Theodosia Foxinglove had be- 
haved atrociously, and Amy resolved never 
to call her Theodosia again. She and Amy 
were, so to speak, twin dewdrops, for they 
both devoted their whole pellucid energies 
to the aspiring art of social climbing ; and 
when, only a year ago, Mrs. Foxinglove had 
left Chicago, where she found it very difficult 
to rise, and appeared in London, Amy had 
done a great deal for her, for she had had 
two years' start, and was chirping away 
quite high up, while the Foxinglove was 
still nowhere. She had constantly invited 
her to her house, she had introduced her 
to five members of Parliament, two Earls, 
a prize-fighter, four distinguished literary 
people, a film-star, a Bolshevist, and a 
Marquis. There were many others, too, 
whom she did not trouble to enumerate 
to herself, but all these she remembered 
without an effort. At first Mrs. Foxinglove 
had shown no signs of the cloven-hoof ; 
she had indeed behaved very fairly, and 
several of the brightest butterflies that 
to-day refreshed themselves at Amy's 
hospitable board, had been netted by her 
at Mrs. Foxinglove's house. That was as 
it should be ; that was part of the code of 
honour that ought to prevail among climbers, 
and in fact up to the beginning of this 
season the two had hunted in couples with 
most gratifying success. But then, it must 


• Chnstopher looked over her shoulder as she scribbled 'By hand' in the corner, and saw to whom it was addressed 
Aha ! I knew you would manage something,' he said, ' if you ( ' " ' 

be supposed, success had gone to Mrs. 
Foxinglove's head ; she began kicking down 
the ladders which had enabled her to attain 
eminence, and among these ladders (not, 
it is true, a very lofty one, but one that 
had most emphatically given her a foothold 
on the lower branches of the great tree of 
Social Success) was Amy. Indeed, that 
telephone message she had just received 
was more than a mere ignoring of her : 
it was a definite act of hostility and insult. 
Mrs. Foxinglove had " made a face " at her 
when she had replied that she would not 
be in London on the night which everyone 
knew was the night of the Elizabethan 
Fair. Of course. Amy, when she asked her 
to dinner then, had known also that she 
could not come, but that was not the same 
thing as telling a lie. . . . 

The telephone that had conveyed this 
withering message tinkled again, and Amy 
sprang to it. The Foxinglove might have 
seen the error of her ways, and even at this 
eleventh hour have repented, in which case 
Amy was prepared to call her Theodosia 
again. But it was only something about 
grape-fruit, and the thought of eating made 
Amy feel quite unwell. " She is a snake," 
she thought to herself, '' in Grosvenor 

cared to give a thought to it.' 

Square." Then she pulled herself together, 
and sat down to concentrate as to how to 
get to that large reptile-house on the evening 
of the 18th. She would not give up, she 
would not retreat into the country, she 
would not even pretend that she had been 
asked and had refused. She would go. 

At that very moment Theodosia Foxin- 
glove, having emitted that spurt of malice 
on Amy through her butler, was also con- 
centrating. Though the Elizabethan Fair 
had been boomed at staggering expense in 
the social columns of every important 
journal in London, and a perfect galaxy of 
distinguished people had promised to adorn 
it, it still lacked the crowning splendour 
of being one at which orders would be worn. 
She longed, as with burning thirst, to curtsy 
to somebody in her own house, and at pre- 
sent she had not secured anybody to curtsy 
to. Quite a little curtsy would do to begin 
with, but she desperately wanted to bring 
curtsying into her domestic circle. So 
there she was inspecting the ball-room of 
her house, which had been transformed into 
an Elizabethan market-place, with stalls all 
round it (where her guests could take little 
trifles, such as gold match-boxes^ and tur- 
quoise brooches, without paying for them) 



and a dais of seats at one end, violently- 
concentrating as to how to get hold of a 
Highness. Though all that was otherwise 
brightest and best in London was coming 
to the fair, the Foxinglove had still an empty 
feeling. . . . 

Amy dined quietly at home that night 
alone with her pink, plump devoted Chris- 
topher. There was a party or two she 
could go on to if she wished, but she really 
did not feel up to it, for though hundreds 
of friends \\i.ald be there, the Foxinglove 
might be among them, and in any case 
there would be a good deal of talk about 
the Elizabethan Fair, and that would make 
her feel faint. So she stopped at home 
with her Christopher, kind good Christopher. 
He knew how madly she longed to go to 
the Fair, for he took the profoundest pride 
in her social successes, and was much 
depressed at the way things were going. 
He had, in fact, anxiously asked her just 
now if she had " managed " it. 

This phrasing did not please Amy. 

" I don't know what you mean by 
' managing ' it," she said. " I should like 
to go : I've never denied that. But if you 
think I would stir a finger to get asked, 
you are quite wrong." 

" Well, well," said Christopher soothingly. 
" Then that's that. I see. Proper pride : 
just so. I only meant, darling, that I knew 
you could get asked in a minute, if you 
cared to put your wits a-work." 

'* How ? " asked Amy eagerly, forgetting 
that she wouldn't stir a finger. 

'' Oh, somehow or other," said he. 
" Trust you for not being beaten." 
' Amy sighed. This was disappointing, 
for she hoped that Christopher might have 
an idea. He did sometimes. 

" Well, I'm not going to think about it 
any more," said she. "I shall like to have 
a quiet evening : I'm sure I get one seldom 
enough. Tell me the news." 

Christopher was skimming the evening 
paper. There was some melodramatic news 
about the franc which interested him, but 
he instantly turned over to the page that 
would interest Amy. 

" Great to-do at the Flower Show to-day," 
he said. " The whole world seems to have 
been there. Princess Isabel opened it . . . 
dukes and duchesses and delphiniums . . . 
the Prime Minister, Mrs. Foxinglove " 

*' She would be," said Amy, suddenly 
boiling over again. " I can see her trying 
to get introduced to the Princess. How 
people push and shove ! " 

" Perhaps she knows her already," said 

" Not she ! She would have put it in 
the paper that the Princess was among 
those who had received an invitation to 
the Fair. Besides, I always distrust that. 
To receive an invitation means nothing. I 
might as well give a party and say that 
Julius Cses'ar had received an invitation. 
All stuff ! Also I know that Theodosia, I 
mean Mrs. Foxinglove, would give one, if 
not both her eyes, to get her." 

" She plays the violin very finely I'm 
told — the Princess, I mean," said Christopher, 
leading the way gently off the agonising 

" Does she ? " asked Amy languidly. 

There was silence. Amy, a little ex- 
hausted by her outburst, sat with half- 
closed eyes, miserably conscious that in 
forty-eight hours from now the Fair would 
be in full swing, and she not there. " But 
what does it matter ? " she asked herself, 
and her heart replied to her that it mattered 
a great deal. Then suddenly she sprang 
up : a perfectly wonderful idea had come 
into her head. Whence or how it came she 
had no notion : she was content to consider 
it an inspiration. 

** I've got a note to write," she said, 
and hurried to her table. 

The note seemed difficult to compose. 
Christopher heard the crumple of two oi 
three sheets consigned to the waste-paper 
basket. But presently it was done. 

" Has the last post gone ? " she asked. 
" Then it must be taken. Ring the bell, 

Christopher looked over her shoulder as 
she scribbled *' By hand " in the corner, 
and saw to whom it was addressed. 

'* Aha ! I knew you would manage 
something," he said, '' if you cared to give 
a thought to it." 

Just one half-hour afterwards Mrs. 
Foxinglove arrived at her own door after a 
little dinner-party she had been giving at the 
Splendid, at which she had experienced a snub. 
One of her thirty-three guests happened to 
be of the household of Princess Isabel, and 
though the Foxinglove did not know this 
guest at all, as he had been brought by 
somebody else, she thought she saw a chance. 
But it was no good : Princess Isabel, he 
knew, was dining out on the 18th, and — here 
he became slightly apologetic — she seldom 
if ever went to houses she did not know. 
The baffled Foxinglove therefore came home 
in a morose mood. 



There was her post lying on the hall- 
table, and on the top a note just left by 
hand. She recognised the writing, and 
wondered at the persistence of Some People. 

and a moment after sat down, with a gasp 
of astonishment, on a hard hall-chair with 
a coronet on the back. The note from 
impotent Amy ran as follows : — 

" Your Eoyal Highness, 

" This is just to confirm my telephone, 
and to say how charmed and honoured I 
shall be to expect you to dinner on Thursday. 
And what a treat to know that you will 
bring your violin ! Indeed, I will follow 
your Royal Highness's wishes' and have no 
party at all. I am not * going un ' anywhere 
afterwards ; it will be so lovely. 
" Your Royal Highness's 

'* Most obedient and delighted servant, 
" Amy Bondham." 

Foxinglove pro- 
duced a hard short 
noise in her throat 
like a death-rattle, 
and then began the 
dreadful business of 
concentration again. 
What had h a p- 
pened was per- 

" The Foxinglove, whom nobody could 
mistake for anyone but Queen Eliza- 
beth, hurried towards the door with all 
her pearls a-jingle as her name was 
bawled out," 

Her first impulse was to tear it up without 
troubling to open it, but it might be amusmg 
to see what fresh assault the impotent Amy 
proposed to deliver. So she tore it open, 

fectly clear to her lucid mind. Amy had 
enclosed the wrong note in the right en- 
velope, and, by inference, she had sent the 
other note to a Boyal Highness. The 



inference was quite wrong, but the upshot 
was that a Royal Highness who played the 
violin, and was thus at once identified, was 
dining with Amy quietly on the night when 
Foxinglove had told Amy she would be out 
of town, but was in reality holding the 
Elizabethan Fair to which she was deter- 
mined Amy should not come. But instantly 
the longing for a Royal Highness swamped 
the determination to exclude Amy, and 
without pause she seized the telephone, 
and rang up that obscure number in South 
Kensington. She would eat humble pie, 
she would drink the water of affliction, but 
she must be careful not to let slip that she 
knew that Princess Isabel was dining with 
Amy. How people pushed and shoved ! . . . 

There was a long pause, and the lady at 
the Exchange said she would call "them" 
again. At last — 

** Is that my Amy ? " cooed Foxinglove. 
" You dear thing, how are you ? I've just 
got home, and now I'm lying grovelling " 

" What are you doing ? " asked Amy, 
who had heard perfectly. 

" Grovelling," said Foxinglove. ** Dust 
and ashes, can you hear me ? I've made 
two quite awful mistakes, and I can't think 
what you'll say to me. First, my stupid 
butler told you I was out of town when you 
so kindly asked me to dine on the eighteenth, 
and I thought it was the nineteenth you 
said. I'm here all right on the eighteenth, 
but, alas ! I can't dine as I've got a little 
party that night." 

** Ah, yes," said Amy. '* Of course, I 
quite understand. Such a natural mis- 

" And my second mistake is even worse," 
said this remarkable liar, "for I find that 
my stupid secretary hasn't asked you to 
it. I can't make out how it happened. 
Now do forgive me and come." 

It was Amy's turn to say *' Alas ! " 

''' Alas ! " she said, *' there's a friend 
dining with me that night. Just proposed 

herself. And we shall be having a little 
music, as she plays the violin, and I don't 
really know when — — " 

" But you won't go on making music 
till four in the morning," interrupted^ 
Foxinglove. *' Come in after your old 
tunes. And bring your friend. Always 
delighted to see any friend of my Amy's. 
Who is your friend ? " 

Amy's irritating laughter tickled Foxin- 
glove's ear. 

" Oh, just a friend," she said. " I'm 
sure you don't know her." 

That was a nasty one, and Foxinglove 

*' Well, bring her along for an hour," she 
repeated. *^ But anyhow, come yourself. 
Promise ! And your friend, too : ever so 
welcome. Ring her up to-morrow, whoever 
she is, and say how pleased I shall be : 
Elizabethan Fair : fancy-dress." 

" Sweet of you," said Amy. 

" And forgive my secretary's mistake, 
dear," said Foxinglove. 

" Why, of course," said Amy genially. 
*' But you'll forgive me, won't you, if I 
can't manage to look in? If it's fancy 
dress, I'm afraid " 

*' Fancy-dress optional," said Foxinglove. 
*' And indeed I shan't forgive you and your 
friend if you don't come. I shall feel real 
bad about it." 

Amy managed to go to the Elizabethan 
Fair, for she had her fancy-dress all ready 
in case. She arrived quite alone, rather 
late. The galaxy of fashion which had 
assembled for the Fair was sitting watching 
a Morris dance of highly decorative Eliza- 
bethan yokels. The Foxinglove, whom 
nobody could mistake for anyone but 
Queen Elizabeth, hurried towards the door 
with all her pearls a- jingle as her name was 
bawled out, and they kissed affectionately. 

" And your friend ? " asked Foxinglove. 

** Couldn't persuade her," said Amy. 

** * What dreadful things you girls say nowadays ! I suppose you would consider that I ought to have taken him, 
as the man I cared for had married someone else ? ' ' Not a bit,' I denied. ' We don't look upon marriage 

as the only career for a girl nowadays.' " 




I AM a twentieth-century young woman, 
although I managed fco get born a 
couple of years before the century 
started, and I pride myself upon being prac- 
tical and unsentimental ; but that does not 
mean that I am lacking in affection. Father 
and I had knocked about together, mostly 
abroad, since mother died ; and when I lost 
him I felt that I wanted to be with someone 
who knew him. I accepted Aunt Eleanor's 
invitation to pay her a visit at Dulsham. 
She was almost a stranger, but she said 
that blood was thicker than water, and 
" there are times when you like to feel that 
some of the family are left, Nina, my dear." 
I thought then that she was referring only 
to my feelings, but now I know that she 
meant herself, too. She had been very 
lonely till I came, she told me. 

That was principally why I conquered 
my wish to get back among things agam 

for a few months and decided to stay on 
over Christmas, but it was also because she 
was different from anyone I had known 
and interested me. She kept her clothes 
in lavender ; and herself ! I found her 
useful for the little stories that I wrote. 
(They just kept me.) Sentiment has more 
value in fiction than in everyday life. 
There it is apt to be expensive. I told 
Auntie so when she talked to me about her 
plans for Christmas. 

" To me," I said, " it seems that you had 
better begin charity at home, instead of 
flinging your money about. You could do 
with about four new dresses ; and you need 
a little runabout. Everyone keeps a car 
nowadays. But we look at things differently. 
You belong to the sentimental period, and 
I to the unsentimental." ^^ 

"It is only a matter of degree, Nma, ' 
she said. " We all have a certain amount 




of sentiment ; except perhaps John Pear- 

He was her lawyer, and managed her 
little properties ; a dry man, but humorous. 
I rather liked him. 

" Oh, him ! " I laughed. " I think he was 
born old." 

" And I have only dried up, eh ? " she 
suggested. " Ye-es. . . . He wasn't so dry 
as a young man, Nina ; quite good-looking. 
... As a matter of fact, he once proposed 
to me." 

" Did he now ! " I said. " That shows 
original grace — or sin. Same thing ! " 

" What dreadful things you girls say 
nowadays ! I suppose you would consider 
that I ought to have taken him, as the 
man I cared for had married someone else ? " 

" Not a bit," I denied. " We don't look 
upon marriage as the only career for a girl 
nowadays. If you don't like a man enough 
to want to live with him, it isn't sensible 
to do it for a house, we should say." 

" And I should say it isn't decent," she 
told me. 

*' The result's the same," I observed. 
** Here we are, two old maids." 

" I am forty-four," she said, *' and you 
are only twenty-six. You will have more 
' sensible ' chances." 

*' I've refused two or three," I remarked. 
I sighed. 

'' And you sigh over them, dear ! " 

" Wrong," I told her. " The sigh was 
for something else." 

You see, the only man I had thought 
it would be sensible to marry had been wild 
and made a mess of things. I wasn't such 
a fool as to tie myself up to a waster ; or 
he such a rotter as to ask me to ; but he 
begged for a chance. So I had told him 
that I would wait a bit, while he tried to 
square himself up in South Africa. He 
wrote at intervals that he was less unworthy 
than he had been, but he wasn't squared up 
yet. I had just given him six months longer. 
It made three years. 

" Well," Auntie said, " I've passed 
temptation time. Nobody wants me now. 
Fortunately, I have other interests in life 
than men. At least I have had. Christmas 
has always been my time. I've been able 
then to send little presents to those of the 
family who needed help, and to give to the 
poor here. I can't forget the time when 
they all looked to us for help; when I 
was the squire's daughter and lived in the 
Hall. I've always been so thankful that 
your grandfather's losses didn't come till 

he was too ill to realise them before he died. 
I hope he didn't afterwards. He'd turn 
in his grave to know that I had come down 
in the world ; that, instead of being Miss 
Abbot of the Hall, I was only Miss Abbot 
of 2, Laurel Villas." 

''You call it Hallsdean, you know," I 
said ; " and the villagers look upon you 
as a queen, if a dethroned one. I'd no 
idea that so much of the old feudal feeling 
was left — upon either side." 

'* I have been proud and pleased to show 
at Christmas that I retain it," she said. 
" It may seem a little thing — a foolish thing 
to you, Nina ; but to be once a year Miss 
Abbot, the squire's daughter and successor 
— once a year, my old self — once a year to 
be Lady Gracious, and to do the kindnesses 
that I wish to do all the year ! You can't 
realise how much it means to me. . . . 
Well, well ! As you say, I belong to the 
sentimental period." 

" Your annual pleasure-day is drawing 
near," I said. " It was three weeks to 
Christmas yesterday." 

I had posted a letter to South Africa then, 
to arrive at Christmas, so I knew. 

" Yes," she said, " if I can do as I have 
always done. I have asked Mr. Pearson 
to look in, when he is passing. A dreadful 
thing happened to me this spring, Nina. 
There was a landslip at Constitution Hill. 
Fortunately, it did not do a deal of damage 
to the cottages directly ; but from the same 
cause — underground streams they say — ^there 
was a subsidence of a deal of the property. 
It cost a terrible amount to put things right. 
I think they call it underpinning." 

" How much ? " I asked briefly. 

" I don't know if Mr. Pearson mentioned 
the total amount. If he did, I can't re- 
member it. I always leave those things 
to him." 

/'What!" I cried. ''Don't you check 
his accounts ? " 

" No, no ! " she said. " I don't belong 
to the generation of women who understand 
figures, as you do ; or who mistrust their 
men ! " 

" But," I said, " suppose — just for the 
sake of argument — that he was making 
money out of you ; cheating you. You 
wouldn't know ! " 

"I should prefer not to ! " she declared. 
" I would rather lose my money than my 
faith in people. John Pearson wouldn't 
steal a penny of mine to save himself from 
starvation. As a matter of fact, I think 
he's very well off. . . . We've passed the 



point, Nina. You're so discursive, and never 
content to take anyone or anything for 
granted. What I was going to say was 
that he raised mortgages and all that sort 
of thing to meet the expenses ; and the 
result was that, for the time being, I had 
to live on my annuity. As you know, that 
is only three hundred a year. I have only 
managed by exhausting my little savings. 
I have hoped all along that there would be 
something to come out of the property at 
the end of the year. Otherwise I must ask 
him to raise some more mortgages, say 
two hundred and fifty, so that I may have 
my annual pleasure." 

" Two hundred and fifty ! " I cried. 
" Good heavens ! You don't mean to tell 
me you spend that on Christmas presents 
every year ! My word ! Sentimental 
Christmases are expensive ! " 

" I was proposing to be economical this 
year," she said. " One must cut one's coat 
according to one's cloth. Remember that, 
except for birthdays and a few special 
occasions of need, I do all my year's giving 
at one time. Last year it came to £336, 
but there were special calls. Fred — but I 
shouldn't mention names — one of your 
cousins, was terribly embarrassed ; and two 
others had been out of employment for 
some time ; and an old maid of mine lost 
her husband, and a school friend. . . . 
Well, I found out afterwards that she told 
a pack of lies and imposed on me. . . . Also, 
there had been a deal of sickness in the 
village. I shan't do anything abnormal 
this year." 

" I should think not," I cried. 
I decided to try, a little later, to increase 
my payment (I had absolutely refused to 
stay on, unless she allowed me to pay for 
my board ; but she had obstinately refused 
to take anything for my room). I could 
do it by buying things for her, if she wouldn't 
take cash, I thought. 

" You really ought to keep it down," I 
told her severely. 

" Unless, of course, the property is going 
well," she qualified. 

However, Mr. Pearson said that it wasn't. 
It was hard work to make the incomings 
meet the outgoings, he told her, and there 
would be no income to spend that year. 

" Then I'll ask you to be so kind as to 
arrange for some more mortgages," she said. 
" You're mortgaged up to the hilt already, 
my dear lady," he protested. " I can't 
raise another penny ; not a penny. In 
fact Well, I don't envy those who hold 

the third mortgages now. They stand a 
considerable risk of losing some of their 

"Then, Auntie," I said, "you can't 
honestly ask people to advance more. You 
must be just before you're generous, of 

"Ye-es," she agreed. "Yes. It is a 
great blow to me. . . . I suppose I could 
raise a certain amount on my jewellery ? " 
" It's of little value to other people com- 
pared to what it is to you," he said. 
" Umph ! . . . As an old friend— we've 
known each other all our lives, Miss Nina— 
if you've outrun the constable a trifle, and 
want an advance to square off your bills, 
I dare say I could advance it." 

" It isn't to pay bills," I cried. " It's to 
give to people." 

" What ? " he cried. He looked sternly 
at her. 

" You've no business to interfere, Nina," 
she snapped. " I wasn't going to take 
favour from Mr. Pearson." 

" You shouldn't," I said ; " not to give 
to other people. . . . Don't look at me 
like that." 

" You just don't understand how I feel 
about it," she complained. 

I don't think I did, until after he had 
gone. Then she asked me to help her, as 
I was good at writing things, to compose 
a letter telling all the poor relatives that 
she would be unable to help them that 

"It is kinder to prepare them," she 
explained, " because they'll have reckoned 
on it. Last year, Laura — but I shouldn't 
mention names — one of my poor relatives, 
wrote to me that my cheque bought the 
Christmas dinner, and the children's pres- 
ents. ... The poor children 1 A woman 
who hasn't any of her own, looks upon the 
little ones of her people as hers, . . . But 
I suppose your generation doesn't under- 
stand that feeling." 

" It understands a bit, old dear," I said. 
" Oh yes ! . . . I could type the letters 

for you, and " 

" No, no ! " she cried. " The least I can 
do is to take the trouble to write them with 
my own hand . . . and cry over it. You 
won't understand that, Nina." 

"I'm not the crying sort," I told her. 
I'm not. I didn't cry when George told 
me what he had done ; or when he told 
me that he was going abroad — to the devil ; 
only advised him to try trotting the other 
way ! (That was how I came to promise 



to wait.) ** No, I'm not the crying sort ; 
but I've faced a bad biff or two, old dear. 
My way's to look out for any chance of 
making bad things a trifle better." ' 

I looked out for my chance then ; went 
to see Mr. Pearson at his office. I felt sure 
that he was a real friend to Auntie, and 
not unfriendly to me. 

" I've come about Aunt Eleanor's busi- 
ness," I said. " As you'll know, it's no 
use trying to talk business with her." 

*' No use at all," he agreed. " Neither 
is it any use your asking me to show you 
her accounts without her permission." He 

" I haven't asked you, have I ? " I said. 

" So you needn't get on your hind legs ! 

What occurred to me — I don't think you in 

the least realise how 

she lives for her Christ- 

she'll feel that she's no longer * Lady of 
the Manor.' She's remained that to herself, 
you know. If you could raise a hundred, 
I'd give you five-and-twenty to add without 
telling her. It's only what she won't take 
for my room. That would give her half 
of her sentimental Christmas. You see the 
idea ? " 

" I think," he said, " / didn't realise 
something. You are your aunt's niece ! " 

*' I suppose," I said, " you mean that I 
am a silly little fool. I'm not really ; but 
I have a certain amount of sympathy for 
other folk's folly. . I know that people put 
their own values on things, and you can't 
alter them. It's a foolish business to you 
and to me ; but it isn't to Aunt. So I 
suggest giving her her own fool paradise — 
well, half of it ! " 

" You write, don't you ? " he grunted. 

* Good-bye,* she said frigidly." 

mas presentations. It's the one fete in her 
calendar. . . . the calendar of a woman 
who — who's missed things in life." 

" And proposes to miss another two hun- 
dred and fifty pounds' worth," he grunted. 

" Two hundred and fifty is absurd, of 
course ; but if she could have a little to 
give to the really needy cases ? In the 
family and in the village ? If she doesn't 

I nodded. *' I thought so ! Naturally you 
put sound before sense. But I only meant 
that you're a nice girl. A further mortgage 
can't be raised ; not even for a hundred. 
No one but a bally fool would have taken 
up the last. . . . no bally fool even, except 
myself ! " 

" Oh-h-h ! " I said. " There's something 
that I didn't realise either ! " 



I held out my hand. He shook it. 

"So," he said, " you — I take you for a 
level-headed sensible young lady— you con- 
sider that your aunt's Christmas presents 
are an obsession with her ? Like her hero- 
worship of a man who was no hero. I'd 

black on her things. I'm making her quite 
a gorgeous dress for Christmas. You'll 
hardly know her. . . . Perhaps we don't. 
. . . You see, if you and I are Auntie's 
friends and wish to cheer her up— I thought 
perhaps you would— we must give her what 
she wants — one of her obsessions." 

"Why not both," he said, "Miss- 
Miss Nina? I've for- 
gotten your surname." 
" Noble," I said, " but 
iSCJI^^P you can call me Nina if 
^C MB^HF you like. We can't give 

' Auntie will thank you for the very kind way in which you have conveyed the news, when she feels more herself,* 
I said. ... I slipped my arm through his and walked him off, before Auntie could say anything." 

say worse than that of him, if he weren't 

" And didn't leave Auntie even a ring 
or a bit of ribbon in memory," I said. 
" That's one of the things that make her 
pippy, between ourselves. However, it's 
helped me to make her give up wearing 

her the obsession man. From what Father 
said about him, I don't think ^ he'd have 
been a very valuable present, if we could." 

" He wouldn't have been ; but her idea 
of him might be. I was wondering. . . . 
You know she never looks into her accounts, 
or into any business done through me. If 




I told her that a legacy had been paid over 
to me for her by his lawyers ... Eh ? " 

" What a wicked old man you are ! " I 
cried. " I like wicked old men ! I think 
it had better be a ring, don't you ? What 
about some money too ? My five-and- 
twenty ? " 

*' I was thinking only of money," he said. 
" I don't want to see her slavering over the 

ring of a However, it wouldn't be 

his. And it would please her ; help her 
along her lonely furrow. That's always 
been rather an obsession of mine, helping 

*' Then," I proposed, " you'll take my 
twenty-five pounds towards it. It's only 
what I wanted to pay for my room, and she 
wouldn't have." 

" No," he refused. " You keep it for 
what you've saved it up for. A home some- 
day, eh ? " 

** Goodness knows," I said. " It depends 
on whether someone else proves that he's 
worth sharing a little wooden hut with. 
I'm not fool enough to do it if he doesn't. 
/ don't belong to a sentimental generation 
like Auntie and — I nearly said you ! " 

" I'm not sentimental," he denied. " It's 
merely an obsession. . . . You see, a lonely 
man must amuse himself with something ; 
golf or theatricals or billiards, say ; or 
looking after an old flame's affairs ! That's 
how it is with me. Miss No — I think I'll 
call you Nina, if you don't mind. You 
remind me of your Aunt, years ago, in 
looks. She was a pretty woman. She is." 

He sighed. 

*' I don't mind you calling me Nina," I 
told him. 

I didn't mind, but Aunt seemed to, 
when he called. She said something a little 
later — rather dragged it in — about the free- 
and-easy fashions of the present day. But 
perhaps she referred rather to my calling 
him " old dear." I wanted to buck him 
up by sympathy, because he evidently didn't 
like telling her about the legacy. Naturally 
he didn't want to hear her gloat over another 

He didn't begin straight upon it, but asked 
after her health, and said it must be a great 
comfort to her to have me there. 

" You'll miss Nina when she goes," he 

" I am not aware that my niece contem- 
plates an early departure," she told him 

" I expect she'll be tempted from you 
soon," he said. ** The usual penalty of 

good looks ! Eh, Nina, my dear ? . , . 
Well, I have to come to a subject connected 
with your young days. Miss Eleanor. I 
am afraid that it may raise rather sad 
memories. I — er — I don't know if you 
would rather hear it alone ? " 

I rose to go ; but Auntie waved me to a 

" What I don't quite see," she said, *' is 
how my young days — you needn't have 
reminded me that they are far past ! — 
concern you 1 " 

He stiffened at that. 

" Merely as your solicitor," he said. 
" But even in that capacity I usually act 
with consideration for the feelings of my 
clients. . . . Messrs. Leehan & Leslie have 
notified me of a legacy which has been left 
you by a friend recently deceased abroad. 
The foreign domicile has caused some delay. 
It consists of some piece of jewellery — 
an antique ring, I think — and a small sum 
of money. ... It is stated that the money 
is merely to — to apply to something that 
will give you personal pleasure, and— er — 
a pleasant memory of — er — one who has 
never forgotten you. . . . I don't know that 
I scarcely need name the legator . . . 
Claude Mortimer. . . ." 

Aunt rocked to and fro, and began to 
cry a little. She said she felt " overcome." 

" I'll fetch your smelling-salts," I offered. 

It was really an excuse to get out of it 
for a minute. I have no belief in smelling- 
salts ; or in fainting. 

When I came back. Auntie seemed to be 
rather wiping up the floor with poor old 
Pearson. Apparently he had said things 
about Auntie's *' Claude " (the name's 
enough !) at some time. * 

" It isn't the money that I care for," she 
stated. " I wouldn't take that for myself ; 
but I feel justified in applying it to charity, 
in memory of a good and faithful man. 
It isn't even the ring that I value. It's 
to have been something to a man until the 
day of his death. I — I — thought I hadn't 
been. . . . Well, I have. It is a proud 
thought to a woman ! " 

Poor old Pearson rose, mopping his fore- 

" And so," he said, " I am glad that you 
have it. I — dash it all ! — ^I don't see what 
you've to round on me about ! I . . . 
Well, well ! . . . Good-bye." 

" Good-bye," she said frigidly. 

" Auntie will thank you for the very 
kind way in which you have conveyed the 
news, when she feels more herself," I said. 



I felt very sorry for him, and very savage 
with her. " I'll see you downstairs, Mr. 
Pearson, dear." 

I slipped my arm through his and walked 
him ofi, before Auntie could say anything. 
She looked as if she might ! 

" She's a bit hysterical," I apologised 
outside the door. " Don't feel too much 

" No, no ! " he said. " The thing is that 
she has her — her proud memory. . . . 
Some of us haven't even that, Nina." 

He managed a smile ; but he looked so 
tired ; as if he'd grown older since he came 
in ; and I had the funniest impulse I've 
ever had in my well-regulated life. I flung 
my arms round him, and gave him a real 
good hug and a kiss. 

'' You're a perfect dear," I said. *' Aunt 
Eleanor's been an old donkey, and lost me 

my best uncle ! She " I heard an 

awful scream from above then. " Oh, 
heavens ! " I groaned. " She's gone into 
hysterics. Don't you worry about them. 
It's only because she considers them due 
to the occasion. You run off. I'll shake 
her out of her hysterics all right." 

However, it was she who shook me when 
I went into the drawing-room ; caught hold 
of me as I ran in the door, calling out, 
*' Don't be a donkey ! " 

" You fast, forward hussy ! " she cried. 
" I suspected you directly I saw the terms 
you were on : that's why I looked over 
the stairs. A man old enough to be your 
father — ^and might have been your uncle ! 
Hugging and kissing him like — Oh ! You 
wicked, fast girl ! . . . The one person in 
the world who still cared for me ; and you've 
taken him away from me ! Oh, Nina ! 
How could you ? " 

" Whatever do you mean ? " I cried. 
" Don't you start shaking me again, or I'll 
shake you ! If you want to know, I kissed 
the dear old thing because he was so hurt 
by your chortling over the man you chucked 
him over for." 

" Be rude if you must," Auntie said, 
" but don't be vulgar." 

'' A man, who, from what I've heard 
from Father, was worth about a quarter 
of Mr. Pearson," I ripped out. 

*'I doubt," Auntie said, '* if any man 
ever was." 

She wiped her eyes. 

" What ? " I cried. " You mean ? 

Good gracious ! Do you mean that you 
like him better than Claude What's-his- 
name ? " 

*' I — I — have come to," she said. *' He's 
been such a friend ; such a friend ; till you 
came ! " 

" Why didn't you marry him then 1 " 
I wanted to know. 

" He never asked me again," Auntie said. 
" That was why, if you must humiliate me. 
. . . I'm not one to bear resentment, 
Nina ; but after your, to say the least, 
immodest behaviour, which I witnessed just 
now — unless, of course, there is an under- 
standing — I mean a matrimonial under- 
standing — between you and Mr. Pear- 
son " 

" There is not," I stated. 

" Even that," she raged on, " would not 
justify such outrageous forwardness . . . 
perfectly outrageous ! . . . I feel that you 
and I cannot remain congenial companions. 
So . . . Oh, Nina ! I knew you were up to 
date, and had no conscience and all that ; 
but I thought you'd be loyal to me ; and 
you've stolen my lover ; just for mischief ; 
when you don't even want him ! " 

" Good gracious ! " I cried. " What rot 
you're talking ! You always gave out that 
you were ' sacred to the memory of Claude 
What's-his-name ' " 

? You don't think, do you," she said, 
" that I was going to let John think that 
I wanted him to propose again ? The idea ! 
In my time " 

" In your time," I said, *' people made 
a bally mess of their love affairs. Now we're 
more sensible. I shall 'phone to him and 
tell him to come back and propose now." 

" Nina ! " she screamed. 

'' Meanwhile," I said, " you may like to 
know that the legacy was all humbug. It 
was Pearson's money, and Pearson bought 
the ring— just to cheer you up . . . Here, 
if you faint, you won't be able to stop my 
telephoning ! " 

"I — don't — want — to — stop — you," 
she gasped. " At least . . . you needn't 
'phone, Nina. I'll do it myself." 

"Eighto!" I said. "Let's give him 
time to reach his office first. I'll get him 
for you. You always boggle over it. Then 
I'll leave you to it. . . . You funny old 
people with your Christmases and a love-a- 
ducks and all that ! . . . Well, you'll have 
your sentimental Christmas this time." 

" Some day, my dear," she said, " I pray 
that you may have yours. ... I think 
he may have reached his office now. He 
walks very quickly. . . . li he should come, 
I think I'll wear the new dress that you've 
made. I think I look young— less old, in it." 



*' Righto," I said. " You'll feel younger 
than I when he comes. / shan't get my 
sentimental Christmas this year ! " 

I didn't. I spent it aboard an almost 
empty liner on the way to Cape Town ; for 
ten days before Christmas a letter came from 
my bad boy. He was in hospital in Bloem- 
fontein, down with enteric. It was hard 
luck, he wrote, because he was getting along 
quite well. 

" There's only a hundred left to pay off, 
Neen," he wrote, " and, if I pull through — 
thirty-two's rather a bad age for it — I'll 
be square nearly to time. You'll give me 
a month or two extra, won't you ? Then 
I'll save up for the little wooden hut. 
Glory ! You've been a good sport to me, 
dear girl ; and I'll be one to you — if I pull 

*' If I don't, I want you to know that 
you've pulled me through. So I'm getting 
the padre to stick in a note to tell you that 
I've changed my spots and turned into the 
sort of creature that you wouldn't run more 
than the usual risk in marrying. He's going 
to make a copy of my accounts to show 
you that I've worked hard. God bless you, 
Neen ! I think an awful lot of you. I 
mustn't write any more. You know, don't 
you ? You're just the one ! " 

Mr. Pearson took my passage and he and 
Aunt gave me a big present so that I could 
finish squaring Dick up, and marry him 
and look after him, if he pulled through ; 
and I had a cable at Madeira to say that 
he had. 

Perhaps my Christmas on the lonely ship 
wasn't so unsentimental. I thought a lot ! 


X^HEN I was little, 

^ ^ Long and long ago, 
I stood beside the window 

And watched the falling snow ; 
Christmastime was coming, 

And Mother said, ** My dear, 
They're plucking geese in Scotland 

And sending feathers here." 

When I was little 

I watched the snowfiakes fly 
White against the grey clouds 

Filling all the sky. 
Thought of some far homestead 

In the firelight clear — 
** Plucking geese in Scotland 

And sending feathers here.'* 

Now I am older 

I never see the snow 
Without remembering something 

That brings the heart a glow, 
Some glad dream forgotten 

Life's dark days to cheer, — 
** Plucking geese in Scotland 

And sending feathers here.*' 



Small Boy : Mummie, I want a stocking that'll hold a horse and cart, a motor, and a big ball. Can I have 

one of yours ? 


By Theta, 

In the ordinary way when we have returned 
from the office and fed we are allowed to give 
our lifelike imitation of the commercial magnate 
relaxing after the heat and ardour of the day. 

The double strain of dominoes at lunch and an 
anxious wait for the result of the four-thirty is 
admitted to have left us fit for nothing but 
an arm-chair and a comatose evening until the 
night clubs open. 

But this week all that will be altered. Our 
pleas for peace and quietness will be brushed 
aside and we shall all be detailed in fatigue 
parties of one to put up the Christmas decora- 

This week, if it be true that a woman's place is 
the domestic hearth, a man's is the top of a 
step-ladder with a mouth full of tintacks and an 
entanglement of paper chains reminiscent of 
the Laocoon, or the villager that took the wrong 
turning in the Maypole dance. 

Not, of course, that I am opposed to Christmas 
decorations. I know that without them Christ- 
mas would not be Christmas, though I am not 
prepared offhand to say whether it would be 
Easter Monday or Derby Day instead. 

I am the first to admit that without them the 
home would lack the festive appearance so 
desirable on the great day, and I should be 
the last to deny that two paper chains and an 
air balloon judiciously employed can produce 

an air of revelry that recalls eAl the splendours 
of the good old times. 

But the process of putting them up abounds 
in perils at which the bravest blanch and mere 
ordinary ratepayers are filled with panic. Great 
as is the charm of Uncle William's portrait 
when crowned with its garland of evergreen, 
the task of so crowning it leaves one barely 
capable of appreciating the, effect. 

Stepping back to observe the result of one's 
first attempt (which is always a failure), one 
stumbles instinctively into the arm-chair and is 
promptly warned to be careful as " that is 
where I have just put the rest of the holly." 

To anyone whose winter undies are not 
fashioned of chain-mail, a fabric which can be 
cordially recommended for such occasions, 
this information will only tend to confirm a 
previous suspicion, and the further suggestion 
that we are treading berries into the carpet will 
seem neither necessary nor kind. 

It may even upset a man to such an extent 
that when, at the end, his wife with her most 
alluring smile asks him what the mistletoe 
reminds him of, he will answer " Druids," 
and get himself thoroughly disliked. 

But before this occurs the correct siting of 
the mistletoe will have caused an amount of 
anxious thought that could have been better 
devoted to the rubber market, or the improve- 
ment of one's golf-swing. On the one hand, 
one does not want to cause congestion in the 




hall, while, on the other, the idea of scandal in 
the scullery is repugnant to all nice minds. 

And even when both these dangers have been 
avoided, one's troubles are not at an end. It is 
sure to be discovered that the particular berry- 
laden piece of holly that has been earmarked 
for the pudding has fallen behind the sideboard, 
and can be retrieved only by moving that heavy 
article of furniture, disarranging the decorations 
of one side of the room, and breaking the only 
decanter endowed with anything more potable 
than the wife's spare crochet hooks. 

Yes, on the whole, it is undoubtedly a busy 

" Good gracious ! Whatever next ? " he 
roared, as the man and bag, complete with 
beaming smile and " hail-fellow-well-met " man- 
ner, were shown into his office. 

'' Confound you, sir ! " roared the business 
man, jumping to his feet. " You canvassers 
make me so crazy with your colossal nerve and 
impudence that I simply cannot find words to 
express myself." 

" Quite, sir," replied the agent, unabashed. 
" Then I am the man you want. I have here,'* 
he said, extracting a volume from his bulky 
bag, " the very latest and most up-to-date 
dictionary published." 


Effect of foggy weather on Christmas Eve at a house next door to a branch Post Office. 


Take some goodwill, and this you need not measure. 
You cannot put too much — then add some pleasure ; 
Beat up some presents, all you can in reason, 
And with best wishes plenteously season. 
Sweeten with love. As kindness is a flavour 
That always is exceedingly in favour 
Add this. Mix up with mirth and harmless folly, 
And decorate with mistletoe and holly ! 

Leslie M. Oyler, 

Morning, noon and night canvassers were 
calling on a harassed business man, until at last 
he did not know which way to turn to avoid 

After the ninety- seventh canvasser was 
announced he felt extremely upset and 

He was on his first visit to a country town for 
many years, and decided to call on an old friend. 
Arriving at the address the friend had sent him, 
he rang the bell and inquired if Mr. Perkins was 
at home. 

" Which one, sir ? " the maid asked. " There 
are brothers living here." 

For a moment he was puzzled. Then he 
smiled with the relief of having solved the 
problem. " The one that has a sister living 
at Slocombe," he carefully explained. 

" But," said the cautious screen star, who 
was about to perform an apparently dangerous 
feat, " suppose the rope should break ? " 

" By George I " cried the director. " That's 
a good idea." 



By T» HodgUinsan, 

It is as true as ever that every family has 
its skeleton cupboard, even if nowadays the 
expression must not be taken literally. 

In these days of bijou residences and inquisi- 

a No Hawkers No Circulars notice, or a warning 
to Beware of a Dog too surfeited with meat to 
touch even the choicest calf. Hence the fre- 
quent statement that modern life is too com- 

But the skeleton cupboard still endures, at 


tive police the difficulty of being sure that the 
skeleton will remain undiscovered makes it 
almost impossible to remove one's enemies in 
the good old-fashioned way. 

Our relations can call with impunity even in 
the middle of spring-cleaning, and in place of 
molten lead we have to do the best we can with 

any rate as far as our house is concerned. In 
it are stored the numerous odds and ends of 
bric-a-brac (mostly presents) whose display 
in any other part of the house has grown dis- 
tasteful to us. 

An economical streak in both Magda and 
myself forbids us to throw away such things 



and in a small town like ours it is impossible to 
send them to the dear vicar for his annual 
jumble sale lest the givers should recognize 
them and resent such treatment of their gifts. 

For the bulk of the contents of our skeleton 
cupboard are trifling souvenirs from our neigh- 
bours, small mementoes of their travels on all 
the more civilised portions of the Southern 
Railway, or inexpensive recognitions of our zeal 
in watering the goldfish and the herbaceous 
border while they were away in the wilds of the 
West Coast. 

It is a cosmopolitan collection, ranging from 

and the question of disposing of some of its 
contents had become acute that Cousin Mary 
paid us her long-threatened visit and proved 
so unexpectedly easy to entertain. 

" Will you listen-in or would you like a grape 
fruit ? " I asked her the first evening with my 
hearty English hospitality. 

" I'd like best to go quietly on with my work," 
she answered, and went on to explain that a 
coming bazaar at home was engrossing her 

Magda claims that the great idea was hers, 
but, as a matter of fact, it was as a duet, in 


" John, that was Mrs. Maxwell, and you never raised your hat ! ' 

pin-cushions shaped like most of the animals 
known to zoology to pictures more conspicuous 
for plush frames than for artistic merit. But the 
gem of the collection is the green vase with which 
the Johnsons sought to prove that even so far 
away as Southend they could not forget us. 

Every year the collection received fresh 
additions, and every year the new-comer was 
allowed to adorn the house for a few weeks 
before Magda and I realised that no amount of 
suffering on our part would ever make it beau- 
tiful, and it was relegated to the domestic 
chamber of horrors. 

It was just as the cupboard was getting full 

which tenor and soprano (as is not always the 
case) finished together, that our question was 

" Will it include a white elephant stall ? " 
we asked, and, on being told yes, proclaimed our 
ability to stock it almost completely. 

For Cousin Mary lived far enough away to 
obviate any risk of the donors of our objets 
d'art attending the sale and recognising their 
gifts. Cousin Mary's bazaar was, in fact, just 
what we were looking for, and we unloaded the 
contents of our skeleton cupboard upon it with 
a philanthropic haste that almost savoured of 
indiscriminate charity. 






" Aunt Evangeline will be pleased," Cousin 
Mary assured us, and thereby reminded us to 
withdraw a squatting toad containing an ashtray 
and remove one or two other trifles which, we 
remembered in time, had been Aunt Evangeline's 
idea of presents calculated to brighten our 

Aunt Evangeline, whose fame as a bazaar 
runner was known throughout a whole rural 

deanery, had always had an exotic taste for 
gifts. Her wedding presents, though generous, 
had been more bizarre than beautiful, and we 
had often wondered where on earth she had 
discovered the further less generous specimens 
of bric-a-brac with which she had favoured us 
from time to time. But, of course, we were too 
well brought up to say anything of this to 
Cousin Mary. 



" How is dear Aunt Evangeline ? " we asked 
instead, and were told that for her age she was 
simply marvellous. 

'' She still does without spectacles and nut- 
crackers," said Cousin Mary v/ith simple pride, 
and we admitted that even we had noticed that 
teeth were not what they were in our young 

That was in October, and now, after only 
three short months, the dear old lady is breaking 
up. Her memory is going, though she still 
retains her strong-minded habit of seldom 
consulting Cousin Mary. That, at any rate, 
seems the only explanation of her latest lapse, 
which has revealed the secret of where she 
acquires her exotic gifts. This morning the 

It's very startling in the dark with no one ciose to you. 
The letter's most important, though ; I promised — 

'twould be wrong 
To say I will and then not go ; it won't take very long ; 
And here's dear Father's blunky stick in case It's 

rather fun. 
I'm going to walk quite slowly there. (But coming 

back I'll run.) 

Joe Walker. 

Anthropometry does not seem to be always 
infallible. The Paris prefecture of police, want- 
ing a missing thief, had proofs chosen of six 
photographs of the man, taken in different 
positions some time before. These were sent, 
with careful specifications of body measure- 


Absent-minded Miss Clapham Parcq, who is an enthusiastic pillion-rider, causes a mild sensation. 

green vase came back to us with Aunt Evangel- 
ine's love and best wishes for Christmas. 

Ah, well, this is essentially the season for the 
meeting of old friends, and ingratitude has 
never been one of our failings. 



Poor Mother's got a headache so she cannot go, you see, 
And Martha went out shopping in the village after tea. 
Whilst Father won't be back from town till much too 

late, and so 
As somebody must post it, well, I said that I would go. 
It isn't that I'm frightened, 'cos I'm not a tiny bit. 
Our road seems rather lonesome, though, before the 

lamps are lit ; 
I don't mind that ; the goosey part is walking down the 

Our big trees make such funny squeaks as if they were 

And then— I'm silly, but— the owls— I wish they 

wouldn't *' Hoo ! " 

ments, and marks, finger-prints, and so on, to 
various parts of France. (Soon after, the prefect 
received from the local chief of police in a small 
town the following letter : " Photographs of the 
accused persons whom you desired me to trace 
duly to hand. I am happy to be able to inform 
you that I have succeeded in arresting five of 
the men, whom I now have under lock and key. 
My best detective assures me that he is on the 
track of the sixth man, an^ will certainly capture 
him before long." 


Two husbands were talking over the trials of 
married life. They had about exhausted the 
subject when one inquired: "And what do 
you do while your wife is dressing ? " 

*' Oh," replied the other, " that's when I 
try to think of something original to say." 


in her 

^T^WIN faces, but how easily she can tell 
•*• the difference ! Both hers, but one 
as she was before she went to bed, the other 
as she rises in the morning with her com- 
plexion so clear and fresh that she looks years 
younger. That is because she massaged in 
a little Mercolized Wax before she went to 
bed. While she slept the Mercolized Wax 
was gently, imperceptibly dissolving away 
all the old, worn-out, dried-up particles of 
skin and allowing the young, delicate skin 
which was underneath to glow clear and un- 

That is the process Nature designed, one 
layer of new skin gradually replacing another 
as exposure to light and dust caused it to 
grow old, dry and discoloured. Modern 
life interferes with Nature's process, and 
half the dull complexions one sees are due 
entirely to minute particles of worn-out skin 
clogging the tiny pores and choking the deli- 
cate, young skin underneath. 

Try the experiment yourself to-night be- 
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face, neck and arms with some Pure Mer- 
colized Wax. To-morrow morning look in 
the glass, and we promise you will be 
delighted with the result. Mercolized Wax 
cannot fail. It is simply Nature's own way. 
Do not forget. Try it to-night. Just ask 
any chemist for some Pure 

Mercolized Wax 

DOES NOT contain Mercury or anything 
injurious to the complexion, and is guar- 
anteed not to encourage the growth of hair. 
Two sizes only — 2s. and 3s. 6d. 

DEARBORN (1923) LTD., 






For your Baby's sake don't neglect to send 
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Baby's diet and management. 
" The Happy Baby " Book is something 
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Each copy is sent, post free, with a sample 
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Mention Windsor Magazine when writing to advertisers. 

To f<ice matter at end — page 115], 


By Herbert Hamelin, 

It was most unfortunate that, owing to a 
previous engagement, we were unable to carry 
out our much-advertised intention of going to 
Deauville for the holidays. Most annoying too, 
after we had spent hours in mugging up the 
ridiculous language by a quite new method 
— spare time study — native teachers in your 
own home — no drudgery, and so on. 

Actually it was Sligenbotham who put the lid 
on it — absolutely forbade it, 
in fact. I saw him in the 
bank one morning, and 
mentioned it quite casually 
to him, and he said NO ! 
very emphatically. A hard, 
oallous fellow, Sligenbotham, 
no savoir-faire, or joie-de- 
vivre at all. So I had to 
spend my hard- earned 
money in carrying out my 
engagement to pay off my 
wretched overdraft at his 
potty little bank. 

When we returned from a 
fortnight at Margate, how- 
ever, we felt we must live 
up to our reputation for 
sang-froid, sans souci, and 
what not, so we asked the 
Blogsons to dinner, chez 

But that was no reason 
why they should go first to 
the wrong address. They 
knew that our house had 
recently been re-christened 
" Mon Repos." 

" Bon soir ! " I beamed, 
bursting into the drawing- 
room, and gesticulating 

" Er — Vous dormez bien, 
isn't it ? Yes ? No ? " 

The Blogsons looked a 
little nonplussed, but on the 
whole they stood it very 
well. After all, when you 
are getting a free meal, you 
must let your host have his 
little joke, n'est-ce pas ? 

" II fait beau temps, 
nein ? " I continued manfully, looking towards 
Lavender for support. 

" Mercy ! " she replied brightly, shutting 
the window hurriedly as the rain was lash- 
ing in. 

" You must forgive us," she smiled to our 
guests. " This French, you know, it is so 
infectious. We've been talking it so much down 

at Mar the plage, vous savez ? " 

" Dinner is a peu en retard, no ? " I asked. 
" Oui," came the quick response. It is 
wonderful how a clever woman can help a man 

*' Ou est the bonne-a-tout-faire ? " I demanded 

"Given notice,". groaned Lavender dully. 

"Cigarette ? " I hurried on, still in French. 

*' Thanks," replied the Blogsons. 

" Mercy — No," yawned Lavender. " I can't 
stand your gaspers." 

Then she remembered herself. 

" Voulez vous — er — switch on le gramophone, 
Georges ? " she suggested. 

" Ah ! Permettez-moi, Madame," lisped 


Wife : Don't you think these flowers in my hat make me look much 
younger, dear ? 

Husband (absent-mindedly) : Yes, why not try a few more ? 

Blogson, dashing forward with a courtly bow. 

" Mercy ! " gasped Lavender, as she helped 
him pick up the bits of the aspidistra. 

" A little chanson, I think, M. Blogson," she 
murmured. " Or quelquechose French, any- 

Blogson hunted in the cabinet for a moment. 

" Voici ! " he exclaimed triumphantly. " I 
think this will do it," he added grimly. " Oh ! 
La— la ! " 

It did ! 

This is what the wretched thing blared forth 
in a pedantic, nasal voice. 


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Mention Windsor Magazine when ivriting to advertisers. 


" The lesson to-night will be on the verb avoir 
-to have. J'ai — I have, tu as — thou hast, il 

" Mercy ! " I choked, as I switched it off. 
And I believe Blogson did it on purpose. 
Sale chien ! 


Ingrate, whom I have cherished since the hour 
When you were weak, and adipose, and small, 
And with insatiate greed would oft devour 
My boots and clothes, yet I forgave you all : 
And likewise have assiduously led 
Your ambling footsteps into field or lane. 
While you rejoiced in mud, and went to bed 
A little later, on my counterpane. 

house, and soon there was not a puff of smoke 

In a little while the man emerged, loosening 
his belt and looking altogether happy and 

" Well," exclaimed a bystander, " that fellow 
can certainly put a fire out ! " 

" Put it out ? " scoffed another spectator. 
" Put it in, you mean ! Why, he's been with a 
circus forty years ; he's a retired fire-eater, and 
I'll bet that's the first square meal he's had for a 
month ! " 

Old Brown had worked nearly forty years 
as a gardener and odd- job man and was appar- 


Husband : My dear, I've got a nice little surprise for you. 

Have I not shown you, most remiss of whelps. 
In clamorous rings, and won you prizes, too. 
Though almost deafened by your barks and yelps — 
Was it for this I did so much for you ? 
You wag your stump as though 'twere all a joke, 
While I must feign contrition for your spree. 
And so — I happen to dislike the bloke- 
Accept this scolding — and this bone — from me. 

C. Denison Smith, 

" FlEE ! " 

Clouds of smoke poured from the doomed 

A tall, emaciated man came running up the 
street, a joyous smile on his face. With not 
even a helmet to shield him or a thimble of 
water to aid him, he walked into the burning 

ently contented until his employer added the 
care of poultry to his duties. Then he was 
ordered to write on each egg with an indelible 
pencil the date and name of the hen that laid it. 

"I'm going to leave, sir," announced Brown 
one day. 

" Leave — whatever for ? " inquired the em- 

"Well, I've done nearly everything about 
the place, but I ain't a-going to be secretary to 
your hens." 


Brown : How did Jones get such a' large 
vocabulary ? 
Robinson : Oh, one word led to another. 



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Mention Windsor Magazine when writing to advertisers. 



" A LADY friend of mine was telling me the 
other day," said Mrs. Perkins, " that her 'usband 
was a model. And when I said, ' Yes, my dear, 
but is he a working model?' she got quite 
huffy. I've 'eard about these model 'usbands 
before. My sister-in-law's cousin's got one, 
who's what's known as 'andy about the 'ouse. 

" If Perkins was to mess about like that man 
does I'd 'ave a judical separation. And she's 
that proud of 'im you can't think. Even when 
the shelf he put up in the kitchen gave way all 
of a sudden and she was stunned by two flat- 
irons and a frying-pan, it made no difference. 

"Another little job he did was a patent 

through to the Boyal Hi-talian Opera, but they 
found out afterwards it was next-door's cat 
that 'ad got mixed up with some of the wires in 
the garden. 

" Yes, living with a model 'usband ain't all 
honey. As far as I can see it's asking for 
chronic nervous 'orrors." m 

R. H. Roberts. 


"I don't know what I want, but it must be 
something suitable for a Christmas present," 
said the customer. 

"Well, sir," returned the shopman, "we 

Pretty Girl : Oh, and please send some mistletoe with the other things. 
Gallant Shopman : But is that necessary ? 

clothes-aker what worked on pulleys, and one 
day after a 'eavy wash it came down and brought 
the ceiling with it, and there was a bit of un- 
pleasantness with the landlord. 

" Then he got 'old of a grand idea for a baby's 
' playground.' It was made out of an old 
packing-case and looked like a second-hand 
cattle-pen. As soon as they put the poor kid 
inside he shoved his 'ead through the bars and 
couldn't get it back again, so they 'ad to chop 
a chunk of the wood away and it nearly ended 
in another Charles the First business. 

"The latest thing he's done is to make a 
wireless set out of a sardine tin and some 'air- 
pins and a few odds and ends. It would be all 
right if it worked. One evening after listening 
in for a fortnight they thought they 'ad got 

say that this store can supply anything from a 
pen to an elephant." 

" Then perhaps you could show me some- 
thing between the two," was the reply. 

How the cross-word puzzle craze helpB 'd 
ameliorate the acerbities of railroad travel in 
England was exemplified when a clumsy 
porter at Dover accidentally dropped a suit- 
case on the tender toes of a Frenchman just 
arrived from Calais. 

" Name of a dog ! " spluttered the victim, 
endeavouring to express in English the signi- 
ficance of his native expletive. 

" How many letters, sir ? " politely inquired 
the porter. 

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London 

XTbe Minbsor nbaoastne. 

No. 385. 

Ail rights reserved. 



Ilhntratedbu W. R. S. ,Stott. '" 


With a Portrait. 



Illmtrated by Henry Coller. 



Illmtrated by Charles Cromhie. 


"THERE ARE MORE THINGS ..." ... ... '.. \ 

Illustrated by Henry Coller. 


Illustrated by Gilbert Holiday. 


A KNIGHT OF THE WILD ... ,„ ][[ ]] "" 

Illustrated by Wartvick Reynolds. 



Illustrated by Stanley Lloyd. 

niustrated by Will Lendon. 



Illustrated by J . IL iSkelton. 



LuciEN SiMONNET. Frontispiece. 

... H. DE Verk Stacpoole 117 

Watson Lyle 125 

Claudine Currey 130 

Mrs. Belloc Lowndes 131 

L. G. Moberly 143 

Michael Kent 144 

A. Newberry Choyce 152 
Mabjorie Bo wen 153 

Agnes Grozier Herbertson 162 
Arthur Mills 163 

G. Sylvia Chapman 173 

;uT. -Colonel Gordon Casserly 174 

Eric Chilman 180 

Ellen Thobneycroft Fowler 181 

Barry Pain 187 

Richard Church 194 

Elizabeth Baker 195 

{Continued on next page. 


are well cut, smart, serviceable. 

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// any diffimlity in obtaining ** LUVISCA" SHIRTS, PYJAMAS 


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Illustrated bi/ J. R. Skelton. 

Illustrated by Frank Gillett. 


No Novelty 

The Gift Golf Clubs 

"A Little Knowledge "... 

Much too Good of Him! 

Strictly Professional 

Pictures in the Fire 

The House-Huntees 

No Offence Meant 

Her Word was Her Bond 

The Match 

In the Dark 

A Polite Interest in the Antiqui: 

A Bowler 

The Proof of the 


Reginald Campbell 210 

Oliver Madox Hueffer 220 


... Edgar Spenceley 229 

Edward F. Spence 229 

... Thos. Somerfield 230 

L. B. Martin 231 

Stan Terry 232 

Bower Mason 232 

Christine Douglas 233 

Leslie P. March ant 233 

Frank Styche 234 

... John R. Wilson 234 
Cyril Elliott 
Norman Pett 
Bradley Farr 
Norman Pett 

YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION of "The Windsor Magazine,'' post free to any pari of the world, 15s. 
At reduced postage rate to Canada, 13s. 6d, 

Binding Cases for half-yearly volumes, with the " Windsor ' 
bookseller at Is. 6d, 

can be obtained through any 

Entered as Second-Class Matter at the New York, N.Y., Post Office, May llth, 1903. 
Registered at the G.P.O. for transmission by the Canadian Magazine Post. 

Many of the original drawings, from which the illustrations in the following pages are reproduced, are for sale. 

Terms on application, 

[All MSS. {which should be tijpewritten) and Drawings submitted must bear the names and addresses of the 
senders and be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope or stamps ; otherwise they ivill not be considered. The 
Editor does not hold himself responsible for the safety of any contributions forwarded for his inspection. AU com- 
munications must be addressed, " The Editor, ' The Windsor Magazine,' Warwick House, Salisbury Square, E.C.4:.**] 

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It is pure- — so pure that it cannot 
harm the most sensitive skin, even the 
skin of the tiniest infant. Use the 
right soap every day to keep your skin 
youthful and fresh. 



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' It was the El Madrono business ; I dare say youVe heard tell of, and a lawsuit bit a big chunk out of the 
profit, or I'd have been a clean million to the good.' " 




IN Western New Mexico, south of the 
Santa Fe railway, stands the most 
interesting cliff in the world. On it 
are inscribed in letters cut with dagger- 
points the names of Commander don Juan 
de Onante and others, the first Spanish 
explorers of this land, names over three 
hundred years old. 

Amongst these august signatures, till 
obliterated by the avenging hand of Lummis, 
were to be found the common names of 
common men, tourists of recent years, and 
we were talking of these vandals and their 
desecrations when Mr. Shireman of — 
Oklahoma I think it was he came from — 
spoke up. 

" If those chaps had known they wouldn't 
have stuck their names there. It's no use 
abusing them, the amount of condensed 
and bottled ignorance in this world is past 
belief and a man may be a saint and a sage 
and still be one of the bottles. 

" Moreover, he may be a sight happier." 

It was in the smoke-room of a Seattle 
boat and through the port you could see 
the near pine-covered hills and the beaches 
of Vancouver Island. 

The thrud of the screw and the lift of 
the keel followed Shireman's remarks with 
others from the beams a-creak and the 
lamps swinging in their gimbals. 

The gentleman from Oklahoma continued 




after a moment's pause : '' It's strange you 
mentioning those writings just here and 
now, and my saying that on the spur of 
the moment, so to speak, not thinking of 
Billy Nutt who's just jumped into my head 
though it's twenty years since I saw him 
last. Twenty-one years to be correct. 
Twenty-one years and three months and 
four days to be precise, for I've one of 
those memories that never forget a date. 

" I met him at San Jose, which is the 
southernmost of the Perlas Islands in 
Panama Gulf, just above 8 degrees north. 
San Jose doesn't belong properly to that 
latitude. It belongs to Hades and was 
towed out of there, climate and devils and 
all complete, with the devils turned to 
mosquitoes and lizards and scorpions, and 
anchored in the Gulf of Panama. 

" Billy was on the beach scratching him- 
self and prospecting for the gold of a wreck 
which was supposed to have been hove up 
there forty years before, but wasn't. If 
it was, the land crabs had eaten its bones 
and the scorpions cashed in the gold bars, 
and when I came there Billy had come to 
the same conclusion and was preparing to 
hike off in search of something else. 

" That chap wasn't a man so much as 
a syndicate ; he'd been in fifteen treasure 
expeditions and there wasn't a gold rush 
from the Chilcoot to Ballarat, as you might 
say, that he hadn't been leading the running, 
according to his own prospectus, which also 
stated that he'd made three fortunes. 

'' Barring being able to read and write 
he was the ignorantest creature ever born, 
but for all that he held you like a story-book. 

" I must tell you that a year before this 
I'd cleared up more than half a million 
dollars out of phosphates. It was the El 
Madrono business ; I dare say you've heard 
tell of, and a lawsuit bit a big chunk out 
of the profit, or I'd have been a clean 
million to the good. However, I took five 
hundred thousand dollars and put them in 
the bank, which is the best place for dollars, 
and started in to amuse myself. 

'* I was twenty years younger then ; all 
the same, a fortnight of San Francisco 
amusements was as much as I could stand, 
the pumps sucked, and out I put in an old 
schooner I hired from McGinnis to hunt 
the coast for more dollars. 

" I'd had enough of Music Halls and such ; 
I was clean crazy for the great open spaces 
stunt and I was keen to see the prospects of 
the shark-fishing business in Lower California 
as a field for the invesfor. I found Mag- 

dalena Bay over-fished and the American 
fleet at gun practice there. It was a fine 
sight, but I hadn't come out to see sights, 
so I put on down the coast making for 
Panama and Balboa. 

" Money smells as well as talks. I tell 
you I hadn't been in those parts three days 
before every sort of shark was following 
after me. Pearl islands, treasure hid in 
the Galapagos, sunk wrecks only five 
fathoms deep, gambling hells in St. Louis 
Potosi, opium-smuggling, the chance of 
leading a rebellion in Chile and making 
myself president so that I could scoop the 
treasury — easy money was lying all round 
me only waiting for me to put out my hand, 
but I wasn't having any. 

" I put out and reached San Jose Island, 
and it was there, as I was telling you, I 
met Billy. 

" I brought him on board the ship for 
fun, same as you might bring a monkey. 
His talk on the* beach had amused me, 
and down in the cabin when we had settled 
to our drinks I began to talk myself, telling 
him I'd come along down looking out for 
business and how the whole cheese was full 
of rats and nothing left but the rind. 

" ' That's so,' says Billy, ' it's rotten 
apples these days ; what between the Chinks 
and the Yanks there isn't a handle you can 
turn that hasn't been twisted off its crank, 
to say nothing of this wireless that brings 
a gun-boat on top of you if you as much as 
sneeze. Blackbirding and barratry and 
gun-running and opium-smuggling — where 
are they ? All gone. There hasn't been a 
revolution bigger than a child's Catherine 
wheel in donkeys' years, and every stake 
worth taking in Mexico has been put in 
the kitty by the chap Diaz. I tell you, 
times is bad, all the yeggs that haven't 
grabbed seats in Washington are on their 
uppers or joined the Salvation Army, and 
on top of the lot where's the minerals ? 
Where's gold ? I'm asking you that, where's 
gold ? Old Mother Earth hasn't said a 
word since she said " Klondyke " ; then she 
croaked, seems to me. I tell you, since I 
was cleared out of my last fortune I spent 
one night on a bench in Central Park, 
N'York, and I couldn't sleep a wink. I 
sleep best in the open, but I couldn't sleep 
a wink thinking of the spending I'd seen 
all day and the sure certainty of a gold 
famine. It's dead sure to come and then 
they'll be catching old-timers like myself 
and putting us through the third degree 
to find out where the gold mines have hid 



themselves. Search me, I don't know where 
they are. I've raked the whole world for 
metals, but I don't know where they are ; 
they ain't there. But I could tell them 
where silver is, and, mark you, the time for 
silver is coming. 

Yes,' he goes on, ' I know where 
there's silver enough to sink the Cunard 
line if it was put aboard for cargo, and 
that's the first and foremost reason of my 
being in these parts. I took up this wreck 
business on the off-chance, but silver is 
what I came for and what I'm going to 
get if I can find a partner with two dollars 
and the pluck of a sand-flea,' he says, getting 
up and walking the cabin like a chap with 
a toothache. ' Silver, stacks of silver, easy 
to come at and easy to smelt, silver enough 
to make Kockefeller's eyes bug out of his 
head — and only waiting the guy to take it.' 
" He's here," said I. 

" Then that chap sat down opposite me 
and put his hand in his pocket as if to take 
out a prospectus, did it automatically and 
from habit as it were, but he fetched out 

I've no papers,' he said, ' but I've got 
the location in my head, safe and sound. 
I could lead you to it in the dark.' 
" If it's as easy as that," said I. 
" ' I was speaking figurative,' he cut in. 
" Well," I said, " now spit it out, spit 
it out, we've got all the evening and all 
that Bourbon to work on. Give us the 
story, but first say, if you've known of 
this stuff all this while and can find it in 
the dark, why haven't you found it ? " 

Picking up a silver mine isn't exactly 
like picking up a pin,' he says ; * you want 
capital to work it and you want a partner to 
trust.' ^ 

" Then he began his yarn. I've told 
you he was ignorant ; that chap didn't 
know the difference between Julius Caesar 
and Judas Iscariot, but he could talk. 

" ' St. Miguel Bay lies near due west of 
where we are lying now,' said he, * and 
there I put in Christmas day three years 
ago with a chap by name of Eamon Gomez. 
I'm telling you it was like me and you. 
Gomez had the location of this mine in 
his head and I had the dollars to get the 
concession and help to work it. Naturally 
I wouldn't part with the bricks till I'd 
seen the ground and he was taking me to 
his exhibit by way of a trading boat we'd 
picked up from the Gulf of Monti jo which 
was where I'd met him. 
" ' It put us out at Real de St. Maria, 

which is near the foothills of the Sierra 
del Sapo, and there we hired mules and 
bought picks and provisions and assaying 
scales and set ofi for the mountains. 

" ' It wasn't a short way but there were 
roads of sorts between village and village, and 
sure enough when we got to the spot there 
were the indications, black lumps of horn 
silver leading to a cliff of a mountain that's 
pretty well all silver, to judge by the speci- 
mens I took. 

This is good enough for me," said 
I, " and good enough for my money." I 
was so full of the find that I brought out 
my bank-roll to show him, nine thousand 
^ dollars all but a hundred, which was a 
tom-fool act seeing he thought all my money 
was in the bank at Panama. Then we 
packed the mules and started. 

We'd got to a cliff edge path when 
what seemed to me the shadow of a big 
bird hit the rump of the mule in front of 
me and I turned. It was no bird, it was 
a spade Ramon had lifted to flatten me, 
and next moment we'd clinched and the 
next he was over the edge. I looked over. 
That cliff was eight hundred foot to the 
valley bottom if it was an inch, and four 
hundred foot down there was a screw pine 
sticking out with Ramon on it, falling as 
you may say, and caught in the act. 

" ' He was waving his arms. 

Then a condor dropped from nowhere 
and began to make sweeps round him, and 
more came in a hurry like chaps to a quick- 
lunch counter, and there he was waving 
his arms, for the tree had speared him 
through the back of his coat, which gave 
all at once and he fell the other four hundred 
foot on to the valley rocks. 

The birds dropped near as quick and 
that was the end of Ram. 

He'd tried to do the same to me so 
I didn't set up any lamentations. I hiked 
on and reached St. Maria, and I tell you I 
had a big thirst on me. 

'' ' Night I got there, I tried to leave it 
behind me in a bar, and then, somehow 
or another, I got into a faro joint and 
woke in the morning with a mesquite head 
on me and my roll gone. 

Since then I've never been able to 
catch those dollars again. I've been in a 
small way scraping here and scraping there 
with that silver mine in my head, as you 
may say, and no chance of working it. 

" ' I tried to interest Lorillard in San 
Francisco ; he wouldn't look at it, only looked 
at my boots, which was mostly uppers. I 



tried one or two chaps more, and one chap 
told me to go to J. P. Morgan and the other 
told me to go to Hull. You get me, a 
down-and-out trying to sell a silver lode 
is on as likely a 
tack as a chap 
~u^f-'^>\\ t-rying to sell 

' " '''"*^"'^'^^ tnufflers in Hades, 

so I left for the sea again as greaser on the 
Hawaiian line and skipped and got into a 
pineapple cannery and got the bucks to- 
gether and went into a wrecking job, rose to 
four hundred and 
chummeH with a 
Chink, ran dope / / 

" ' We're not the first here' ' 




thousand eight hundred and speculated in 
coco-nuts, took the lot and speculated on this 
treasure hunt — and here I am bust again.' 


" That's what Billy told me down in the 
cabin," said the man from Oklahoma, 

you mean f 
'there's too 

he asks. ' I mean,* said I, 
much silver in it ; it's not a 
mine according to you, it's a mountain.' 
' That's so,' said he, ' a mountain of dollars 
is what you might call it. I'm not asking 
you to put money into it, I'm asking you 
to take money out of it ; you don't believe 

.X . 

y. „ 

CORT £2' 

i f^^^ 




"and he told it as if he was telling the 
truth. I said to him, ' Billy,' I said, ' your 
trials and afflictions have my sympathy, 
but I'm not parting with any money over 
this proposition, it's too good/ * What do 

" And there before me cut on tho 
rock was the word : ' Cortez.' Deep 
cut, though worn with weather, tiierc 
it was. No Christian name, no date. 
It wanted nothing of that, no inoro 
than the name of Napoleon or Alexander would liave done.'* 

me when I say this is the biggest thing on 
earth— well now, do I look a fool, do 1 
look like a man who'd hike over those 
mountains unless he was sure of where lie 
was going and what he was wanting ? 
That's what I'm proposing to do if you'll 
come for the walk with nic. V/hon you'vo 



seen the stuff and touched it you'll be ready 
enough to put up the money to get the 
concession and start the working. I can't 
say fairer than that. I want nothing at 
the start, only the price of mule hire and 
the promise of a half -share in the profits.' 

" ' We'll talk of it in the morning,' I 
said, and we did. 

" I fell to agreeing with him ; the thing 
seemed good enough to speculate a few 
hundred dollars on, and I only had to put 
the boat over to St. Miguel Bay to be right 
on the base of the expedition. 

" Two days later we got to a town where 
we put up at an inn that was half a verandah 
with chaps sitting about iii basket chairs 
and smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. 
That was their business in life and the town 
went to sleep at one o'clock p.m., having 
stuffed itself with garlic and tomatoes, not 
waking till after three in the afternoon, when 
it pulled up its blinds and ordered coffee. 

" After dark it let off fireworks, and after 
that the mandolines would begin serenading 
girls, the sound of these mixed with the 
guitars from the tango hells and the cats 
and the bull-frogs and the mosquitoes and 
chaps being murdered down back alleys 
and telling the world of their troubles ; • 
all of which kept on till four in the morn- 
ing, or maybe five, when the cocks and the 
church bells took on. 

" And all that work was backed with 
nothing stronger than coffee and lemonade 
and cigarettes ; an amazing place, but 
difficult if you were on business and hustled 
for time. 

" We set out to hire mules next day and 
struck a church festival — nothing doing, 
and the next day was a national celebration 
and a free-fight with the anti-nationalists. 
I tell you we mixed with that town and 
before we'd been mixing with it long, we 
found we were being followed by a chap 
with rings in his ears. 

" ' Well,' said Billy, ' it's either that 
chap Kamon or his brother. It can't be 
him, for I saw him killed dead with my 
own eyes and the birds eating him. It 
must be his brother. When I got back 
that time I told the story of how he'd 
missed his footing and killed himself, and 
the police believed me, but there's always 
the family to be reckoned with in a place 
like this, and they never forget.' 

" That sounded cheerful. I began to wish 
I hadn't come, but I wasn't going to back 
out now I'd put my foot into the thing, 
and next day, seeing no more of the chap 

with the jewellery, we got our mules and 
grub for three weeks and put out. 
^ " From there we reached Passo, a vil- 
lage in the foothills, and from there 
Madelion, a place high up in the mountains, 
and from there the trail led south by thou- 
sand-foot precipices and down dips that 
nothing but a mule could have taken, the 
big birds watching us and nothing else. 

"However, we hadn't come out to seek 
company, and went happy enough till to- 
wards noon the day we left Madelion Billy 
took a back look and. said we were being 

" And sure enough we were, for miles 
back along the track, we saw a fellow with 
a mule. 

" We sat down and he came to a halt ; 
we went on aiKl he did ditto. He was 
following us sure enough, and that night 
when we camped I couldn't rest. I know, 
we set watches, tossing a coin for who'd 
turn in first. I won and turned in, but 
couldn't get to sleep thinking of that chap 
behind us, maybe on us, any moment ; 
then when my four hours was up Billy 
took the straw and began to snore directly 
he lay down. 

" That was the sort of man he was, 
without education and without all the frills 
that education gives to the imagination ; 
he'd never read stories of Red Indians on 
the war-path or vendettas and so on, he 
had no worries about a future life, and as 
for dying he had never studied on the 
matter ; he just went asleep and slept like 
a tombstone till it was time to start. 

" Then as we hitched up he noticed that 
I was frazzled. 

" ' Billy,' I said, ' this thing is going to 
do me in ; what between the mountain air 
and that guy that's after us I'm in for one 
of my attacks of insomnia.' 

" ' What's that ? ' said Billy. 

" 'It's the Latin for not being able to 
get to sleep,' I said. 

" Billy scratched his head and looked 
back along the track and there, sure enough, 
was the chap at his usual distance some 
three miles off. 

" * He's after me, not you,' said Billy, 
* and I'm not worrying any.' * Maybe not,' 
I said, * but we're made different ; it will 
do me in, for a man's no use without sleep, 
and I can't get a wink, ever, with the feel 
of that behind me.' 

" Billy was an understanding man, though 
ignorant. When we camped that night he 
said he'd have to attend to this thing ; 



told me to lie down and keep quiet and 
left me, hiking back along the way we'd 

" Then I lay under the stars listening till 
the moon came riding over the peaks. 

" This part of the mountains we were 
in now was the Sierra del Darien, which is a 
continuation of the Sierra del Sapo. There 
was no wind and no sound, the whole world 
was dead asleep as the mules, till, of a 
sudden, came the noise of a shot a great 
way off. It might have been Billy's Lugger 
automatic or it mightn't. 

" Nearly an hour later he returned. ' I 
reckon we can get to sleep now,' he said. 
* Billy,' I said, ' won't they find the mule ? 
What have you done with her ? ' ' Hove 
her traps over a precipice,' said he, * and 
gave her a whack on the rump. She'll 
run wild in the mountains — Get to sleep.' 

" There was no one following us next day. 
All the same I was being followed. I knew 
that inquests were barred out in the moun- 
tains by the birds, but birds don't swallow 
jewellery—and I said, 'Billy, what about 
those ear-rings ? ' ' Got them in my pocket,' 
said Billy. 

" I said nothing more. It came to me 
that he'd been to collect that jewellery not 
for himself, but for the sake of his partner 
who couldn't sleep ; something sort of grand 
in that, wasn't there ? Done for me what 
he wouldn't do for himself." 


The man from Oklahoma paused for liquid 
refreshment, and a person in the corner by 
the door cut in, "I don't know where you're 
getting to with this story," said he ; *' seems 
to me you started off from those autographs 
cut on rocks and went on to " 

*' The same thing, if you'll listen," replied 
the Tale Teller. " Well, as I was saying, 
or would have been saying if you'd kept 
your chin out, we went on and middle of 
next day, * Here we are,' said Billy. ' Smell 
that,' and he picked up a chunk of dark 
stuff and it was horn silver. 

'' He led the way up a little canon to a 
cliff where the outcrop was, and sure as he'd 
told me, that cliff was all outcrop and the 
hill it was part of the same by all indications. 
Silver mine ! It was a hill of silver. 

" I sat down at the foot of it, and held 
my head to keep it flying of! me. 

" From where I sat I could see beyond 
the canon the Pacific ; we must have been 
six thousand feet up and the ocean a hundred 
miles away, so you couldn't see ships, just 

a blue streak with a few white clouds across 
the rim. 

^ "I remember the thought came to me 
sitting there of how mining was to be carried 
on at that height. One could do smelting 
in the canon, but what bothered me was 
the getting the bar silver down to St. Miguel 
Bay, till I remembered the existence of 
mules. It was the country of mules ; they 
were the railways and omnibuses of the 
place, cheap transport and lots of it. I 
was putting up a hymn of praise to the 
man who invented the breeding of mules 
when I heard Billy, who was prospecting 
along the cliff, let out a swear as if a wasp 
had stung him. 

We're not the first here,' he cries ; ' a 
chap's been cutting his silly name on the 

" I jumped like a pea on a struck drum, 
and next moment I was beside him. 

There,' said he, pointing, and there 
before me cut on the rock was the word : 

'' ' Cortez.' 

'* Deep-cut, though worn with weather, 
there it was. No Christian name, no date. 
It wanted nothing of that, no more than 
the name of Napoleon or Alexander would 
have done. 

" It took maybe ten seconds for the thing 
to sink into me and then up came from the 
back of my memory the words of the 
Immortal poet John Keats about brave 
Cortez and his men standing on a peak in 
Darien gazing upon the Pacific in a wild 

*' ' What are you going on like that for ? ' 
says Billy, watching my face. ' We're safe 
enough. You can't stake a claim by writing 
your name on it ; the chap's done no work, 
and if he comes back on us there's no court 
in the Americas that wouldn't hoof him 

** * Hoof him out,' I said, ' why, you fool, 
that's Cortez ! ' 

'*'I don't care if he was J. P. Morgan,' 
says Billy, * he's no rights here. Cortez — 
and who is he, anyhow ? ' 

" ' He's dead,' said L 

" * Then what are you cutting up about ? ' 
asked Billy. 

" * It's just this way, Billy,' said I, as 
one might be explaining things to a child. 
* We're \ on the Darien mountains, and it 
was here maybe four hundred years ago 
that the Spaniard chief called Cortez led 
his men, hunting for silver, maybe, same 
as we are, and there he cut his name on 
the rock and here he stood, maybe where 



we are now, gazing at the Pacific in wild 
surmise. You see he'd come to find silver, 
and suddenly found he'd found the Pacific. 
No one had heard of the Pacific in those 

" ' You'll be telling me next they'd never 
heard of '' Frisco," ' said Billy. 

" I left it at that. There was no use in 
talking to him on it, no more use than lectur- 
ing a starfish on astronomy. He went off 
to tend the mules and left me in peace 
before that mighty name written on the 
face of the world, as you may say, and 
fronting the west and the vast Pacific Ocean. 

" Next day, having taken samples of the 
rock, we started the mules and began our 
hike back. Billy happy and beaming, but 
I wasn't happy. That name was following 
me worse than Ramon had done. 

" Well I knew that once we'd got our 
concession and started our company it would 
have to come down. The whole face of that 
hill would come down. 

"I said this to. Billy, and he agreed. I 
was saying at the start off that the amount 
of bottled ignorance in the world has never 
been taken stock of, and that a man may 
be happier if he's one of the bottles. It 
was so with Billy ; he'd never read Keats' 
poem, so he didn't appreciate the horror of 
what we were lending our hand to. I said 
to him, ^ Billy, if this thing got about, if a 
whisper of it went to the world, every 
archaeological society in the United States, 
to say nothing of the uplift clubs, the 
reading societies, young women's associa- 
tions, and so on, would be on their feet. 
You'd have a procession of five million 
people hiking to here.' 

" ' I reckon that's true,' says he, ' but 
where 's the trouble ? No one can touch 
an ounce of the stuff if we once get our 

" I left it at that. There was no use in 
sailing on that tack with Billy, but I'd 
made up my mind that unless an earthquake 
did the trick that name was not going to 
come down — at least with my assistance. 

" It would be like taking down West- 
minster Abbey — or the dome of St. Peter's 
at Rome. I had money enough, anyhow, 
and the only question was how to head 
Billy off. 

" I did it by pointing out that the Dagoes 
would never let us pill off a concession, 
that all we'd get would be knives in our 
backs, that if we did get a concession it 
would take eighteen thousand years to get 
the mine working in that country where 

you never could get anything done till to- 
morrow, and that, anyhow, it took a gold 
mine to work a silver mine. 

" He came to see all that, but what 
shook him off most was Ramon's family, who 
went for us with questions when we got to 
San Juan." 

A fat man who was seated near the man 
from Oklahoina and who had been listening 
with open mouth and rapt attention struck 
himself on the thigh. 

" Well, this is the most extraordinary 
thing in the whole world," said he. " This 
gets me completely. I know the Sierra 
del Darien, ought to since I have been all 
over that range when I was a boy of eighteen, 
that would be* near twenty years before 
you were there. I'm now seventy-one, 
though I don't look more than fifty; still, 
that's my age. Now tell me, you went frpm 
Passo to Madelion, and then took the south 
trail till you reached that canon which was 
facing west — it is the only canon facing 
west, as you will have observed. I went 
up that canon same as you did, but knowing 
nothing of geology, my party did not 
recognise the silver-ore nature of the place. 
But you knew it was silver ore, yet you 
refused to profit by it for the sake of the 
wonderful historical interest of that spot. 

" Sir, you did honour to yourself and your 
great country, as a Canadian I say that, 
but you sacrificed your interests in vain. 
To my shame be it said — excuse my emotion 
■ — I was a boy full of life and the mischief 
of youth. It was I who cut that name upon 
the rock, the sacred name of Cortez, saying 
some fool will find this some time — and 
look ! My act has found me out." 

" But this is great,'' said the man from 
Oklahoma, " the stuff is there still, only 
waiting to be lifted, and the only barrier 
gone ! — Great ! — it's more than that, it's 
Fate. Sir, come into the bar." 

They went out for drinks, and a lumber- 
man from Seattle rose up and stretched. 

" That's the most extraordinary coinci- 
dence that has ever come to my knowledge," 
said he. 

" That yarn ! " I said. 

"I'm not talking of any yarn," said he, 
" I'm talking of the meeting here in the 
same place and the same moment of time, 
so to speak, of those two chaps — the two 
biggest liars on the Pacific coast." 

Which was the nearest thing to truth 
that had been heard in that smoke-room 
for a long time past. 






GUSTAV HOLST has been made 
familiar to the general public chiefly 
by one or other of the seven num- 
bers comprising his suite for orchestra, " The 
Planets," a work that has established his 
reputation as a composer both here and 
abroad, and has attracted attention to the 
world-wide importance of the renaissance of 
musical art in Great Britain. 

Before the original production of '' The 
Planets " (minus Nos. 2 and 7, " Venus " 
and " Neptune ") at a concert of the Eoyal 
Philharmonic Society in Queen's Hall on 
February 27, 1919, this composer's work 
was hardly known outside definitely musical 
circles, but it was not long before this fine 
composition passed into the repertoires of pro- 
vincial orchestras, and at the Promenade Con- 
certs it soon became an established favourite, 
whilst that most active disseminator of music, 
wireless, has now borne it to the homes of 
all and sundry. To the layman its title is 
intriguing, for have we not, most of us, 
from earliest childhood, experienced an ab- 
sorbing curiosity, at times, regarding these 
same celestial bodies ? And is it not very 
fitting that music, that one of all the arts 
which is a blood relation, an elder sister, to 
the newest, distance-annihilating invention 
of science — wireless — should promise a mea- 
sure of spiritual contact with these distant 
spheres ? It may at once be said that in 
writing this suite Hoist merely sought to 
convey, in terms of music, the influence upon 
human affairs attributed to the respective 
planets by astrology, of which he is a keen 

student. However, the magic of his alchemy 
of sound and rhythm does more than this. 
" Mars," the " Bringer of War," might be 
compared to an emanation from cataclysmal 
action, so great is its sense of upheaval, 
while " Saturn," the '' Bringer of Old Age," 
is the very acme of expression of age-old 

One feels that there is much of the student 
and something of the mystic about the com- 
poser, that his personality is keenly sensitive 
to spiritual and extraneous suggestion, con- 
trolled by an extremely well-balanced and 
coolly-analytical intellect. About four years 
ago, one afternoon when I was in the artists' 
room at Queen's Hall, chatting to a friend 
(a well-known pianist who had just played 
a concerto with the orchestra), the door lead- 
ing to the stage opened, and Hoist entered 
the room. He had been conducting a per- 
formance of one of his own compositions — 
the " Beni Mora " suite, if I remember 
rightly — and remained quietly apart for a 
little before addressing my friend, who knew 
him and duly introduced us. 

The meeting was an unexpected pleasure 
for me, who was already a fervent admirer 
of his work. He was rather interested, I 
remember, in the report that had reached 
this country from Soviet Kussia of a con- 
ductorless orchestra, an organisation, by the 
way, that recently gave the first perform- 
ance of such a kind in other European 
countries. The plan of dispensing with a 
conductor is, of course, an innovation 
that most musicians would contemptuously 




dismiss on practical grounds, but Hoist left 
the question for consideration until he had 
had a chance of hearing the orchestra for 
himself. As I subsequently found, this open- 
mindedness and utter dislike of dogmatising 
upon a matter he has not personally investi- 
gated or tested, is characteristic of him. 
He has, too, a capacity for detached judg- 
ment, for estimating results with an exacti- 
tude that is coDimoner among scientists 

Like the immortal Johann Sebastian Bach, 
Hoist has written largely for the young 
musicians under his care. Bach taught 
Latin as well as music to the boys of St. 
Thomas's Church School, Leipzig, and much 
of his music was expressly written for the 
purposes of liis position as organist and 
choirmaster. Hoist began his professional 
career as organist at a village church, an 
experience which he turned to use in the 

Photo 6//J 


[Maull & Fox, 

than composers. It is a habit of thought 
that soon becomes apparent in conversation 
with him, and it is a quality of which one is 
frequently conscious in listening to or read- 
ing his musia Hoist's comments, like his 
employment of tone-colour and rhythm, are 
pellucidly clear, strikingly apt, and often 
made after deliberate consideration. The 
man is inseparably one with his art, and his 
professional and other interests, apart from 
actual composition, more or less dovetail 
into it. 

composition of choral music. Later, at the 
Koyal College of Music, he was a fellow- 
pupil with Vaughan-Williams (who is also, of 
course, now in the forefront of contemporary 
composers) of the late Sir Charles Villiers 
Stanford for composition. 

Plans for the career of a pianist and an 
organist had to be abandoned on account 
of neuritis, and as this physical disability 
prevented him from earning a living by 
playing a keyboard or stringed instrument, 
and he desired another source of income 



besides composition — always a fearfully un- 
certain one for the beginner— he learnt to play 
the trombone and held appointments as a 
trombonist in the orchestra of the Carl Rosa 
Opera Company and in the Scottish Orchestra. 
With the former engagement he was given 
the opportunity of rehearsing the singers, 
an increase in practical knowledge that was 
useful in the positions that came to him 
(successively) of Musical Director at the 
Passmore Edwards Settlement and at Morley 
College. Eventually, in 1909, he entered 
upon the engagement that he still holds, of 
Head Music Master at St. Paul's Girls' School. 
Continuing the practice begun when he was 
a village organist, and maintained during 
the two directorships mentioned, he has 
written largely for the orchestral and choral 
ensembles at his disposal. Like Bach he 
has made the utmost use of the material to 
hand to help in perfecting his technique 
as a composer. The writing of choruses 
for female voices imposes considerable 
restrictions upon the creative effort, but 
the testing of the limited expressional pos- 
sibilities of these media has possibly helped 
towards the freedom that is observable in 
the part-writing of his later orchestral works. 
His experience as a trombonist has given 
him more than a theoretical knowledge of 
how to make effective use of the tone 
qualities of the " brass " section of the 

In his work as a teacher at St. Paul's 
School he has gradually formed a school 
orchestra of girl players, and has incidentally 
done much to explode the old-fashioned idea 
that the pianoforte, and perhaps the violin, 
are the only two instruments available for 
girls. If a student makes little or no pro- 
gress with her lessons on piano or violin, or 
one of the other more familiar instruments, 
he will try her with a flute, or clarinet, or 
some other orchestral instrument, even the 
tympani or triangle, so long as it presents 
a means of arousing and developing her 
feeling for music. Just recently he talked 
earnestly to me of this obviously interest- 
ing phase of his work, and whilst he did 
so 1 inwardly marvelled that the com- 
poser of " The Planets," " Savitri," " The 
Perfect Fool " and " The Choral Symphony " 
(which, as we shall presently see, do not at all 
exhaust the list of his works) could wax 
enthusiastic over pedagogic matters. Still 
further did it seem to strengthen the parallel 
between his own methods and career and 
those of Bach, who, in his professional round, 
cheerfully contended with raw choir-boys. 

The earliest memories of Hoist, who was 
born at Cheltenham on September 21, 1874, 
like those of a good many musicians (includ- 
ing Bach), are closely connected with music. 
His father was well known as a pianist and 
organist in his native town, and as the boy 
grew up he simply learned about music as a 
matter of home environment, and received 
his first instruction on piano and organ from 
his father. Even in these early days his 
ideas turned towards composition, but when 
I asked him at what age he began to write 
music he naively told me that he had taken 
no particular note of that happening : he 
had just grown up to know music. It may 
be stated here that Hoist's un-English name 
is explained by the fact that his family is 
of Swedish origin, his great-grandfather 
having first settled in Riga, and migrated 
from there to England, where his descendants 
have since lived. A fair complexion and 
clear blue eyes, normally abstracted, and 
even bored in expression, but flashing viry 
brightly under excitement, are no doubt 
racial legacies from that paternal ancestor. 
I can remember another pair of eyes of the 
same light yet decided blue colour, but 
they belong to quite a different personality — 
Christian Sinding, that wholly delightful 
and dreamily poetical old Norse composer 
whose " Friihlingsrauschen " is in the reper- 
toire of most amateur pianists. 

Circumstances have taken Hoist abroad 
at various periods of his career, with some- 
times an influence upon his work. The 
Oriental suite for orchestra, " Beni Mora," 
for instance, was the outcome of a visit to 
the coast of North Africa in 1910. In con- 
nection with the Y.M.C.A. war service organ- 
isation he went to Salonika in 1918, thence 
to Constantinople and Asia Minor, lecturing 
upon music and teaching the soldiers the 
enjoyments of singing in choirs. He returned 
from that time of service in the following 

Last winter season in the States Hoist 
conducted performances of some of his own 
works. He was altogether charmed by the 
hospitality extended to him wherever he 
went. His prospective hosts and hostesses, 
knowing that he was barely convalescent 
from a trying illness, were careful to ascer- 
tain, first, from his wife, whether or not he 
was able to meet people, an evidence of 
thoughtfulness which naturally impressed 
him very favourably. But^ indeed, our 
Transatlantic cousins of the well-educated 
classes have raised entertaining to the level 
of a science in the matter of smooth-running, 




as most European artists who visit the 
larger cities in the United States have 

Although the earlier works of Hoist show 
the influence of folk-song and early ecclesi- 
astical associations, there becomes apparent, 
as the years pass, an increasing element of 
Oriental character. There is no doubt about 
the sincerity of this music or the intuitive 
feeling for tone-colour of a type that conveys 
an authentically Eastern atmosphere to the 
listener. This turn of his creative impulse 
has led him to study Oriental literature, and 
in order to do so at first hand he began, as 
long ago as the Composition of " The Cloud 
Messenger " (published in 1912), to learn to 
understand Sanskrit, and to make his own 
translations, and thus himself get to the 
heart of subjects chosen from this source 
for musical treatment. The fact that a man 
of his birth and descent should have such an 
exotic strain in his individuality is remark- 
able, and it is significant of his passion for 
thoroughness and for using existing condi- 
tions towards the working out of his artistic 
ego, that he should immerse himself in the 
study of a language and a literature to be 
able truly to express himself — a self that 
happens to be considerably alien from his 
physical origin. 

The " Hymns from the Kig Veda " (Op. 
24, published 1920), for voice and pianoforte, 
are settings of translations from Sanskrit of 
nine of the Vedic Hymns (of which there are 
just over a thousand) taken from the ancient 
literature of the Aryan clans who, in pre- 
Buddhistic times, that is, before the sixth 
century B.C., penetrated to the extreme 
north-west of India. In these few examples 
set for us by Hoist the poetic imagery em- 
ployed is unsurpassed to-day in its delicate 
beauty. Thus, of " Ushas " (Dawn) we 
read, " Behold the Dawn, the fairest of all 
visions. . . . Borne by winged horse and 
car, she steals across the sky. . . . Heaven's 
breath awakeneth Creation. The sky is all 
aflame. The Eastern portals open wide." 
The composer has intensified the appeal of 
this poem by writing music that attains to 
an emotional ecstasy, gradually and by 
simple means, and by indicating a tone- 
volume that is carefully suppressed to 
supply (figuratively) a shimmering veil of 

Quite different methods are employed 
in the next hymn of the set, " Varuna " 
(Sky), in which the voice sings as a sup- 
pliant for mercy to a sombre accompani- 
ment on the piano. In " Maruts " (Storm- 

clouds) — '^ Mighty Warriors ! Children of 
Thunder. . . . Glowing like flame from the 
holy fire . . ." — the appropriate feeling of 
stress is created by the use of an insistent, 
syncopated, rhythmic figure in the accom- 
paniment. At the beginning of the eighth 
hymn, " Creation," the voice alone impres- 
sively describes the condition of nothingness 
that preceded the beginning of all things 
until, at the words, " Then up rose Desire 
. . . the seed of spirit. . . . The germ of 
mind," the piano enters, agitato, with an 
accompaniment that sweeps onward to a 
triumphant climax, accentuated by the 
striking contrast of the last few bars, played 
very slowly and softly, in agreement with 
the mystical conclusion of the poem. Slight 
though these works are, they are interesting, 
with the much more elaborate Choral Hymns 
from the " Kig Veda " (Op. 26, composed 
1906, published 1911-12), as presaging the 
constructive style of the composer in his 
bigger works, i.e. bigger conceptually — so 
far—" The Planets," " The Hymn of Jesus," 
"The Perfect Fool" and "The Choral 

There are fourteen of these Choral Hymns, 
in four groups, for the most part invocations 
to various Vedic deities, such as " Varuna " 
(God of the Waters) and " Agni " (God of 
Fire), but some are on a more personal 
plane, like the " Hymn to Travellers " (in 
which the god invoked is guide to travellers 
in this world and along the road leading to 
the next) and the " Hymn to Manas," 
Manas being the term applied to the spirit 
of a dying man. There is, for instance, a 
decided rhythmic affinity between the hymn 
" To Agni " and the prevailing rhythm in 
" Mars," the first number of " The Planets " ; 
and in " Mercury " (the winged messenger), 
the third number, there is an expansion of 
the harmonic idea used in " Maruts " to 
suggest the spaciousness of the heavens. 
Saint-Saens, by the way, gains a very 
similar effect by utterly different means, at 
the commencement of his first symphonic 
poem, " Le Rouet d'Omphale," which shows 
how differently the same extraneous sug- 
gestion may react upon the creative im- 
pulses of different composers. 

Ethereal calm, achieving a nebulosity 
hovering on the borderland where sound 
dies into silence, is the prevailing charac- 
teristic of the second number of " The 
Planets " suite, " Venus " (the Bringer of 
Peace). " Jupiter " (the Bringer of Jollity) 
is pervaded by a gay little tune of folk-song 
type, to which a majestic subject provides 



effective contrast. This fourth number of 
the suite is the most English of all seven in 
spirit. The fifth, "Saturn," has already 
been referred to, and the sixth, '' Uranus " 
(the Magician), at once creates an atmo- 
sphere of expectancy and theatricality by a 
stentorian call on the brass concluded by an 
empha.tic and startlingly sudden melodic 
imitation of it on the tympani. One feels 
that anything might happen after that, and 
a good deal plainly does happen before 
f' the magician " disappears, so to say, in a 
cloud of sulphurous fumes ! Hoist has in- 
troduced the distinctive colour of a chorus 
of female voices into the orchestra towards 
the end of "Neptune" (the Mystic) and 
thereby contrived a certain remoteness, for 
the conclusion of the work. 

Sanskrit literature and astrology are both 
unusual sources of inspiration for a com- 
poser to choose, but they do not. exhaust 
the originality of Hoist in his selection of 
material for musical setting. His fourth 
opera, "The Perfect Fool" (Op. 39), is, 
substantially, a mixture of opera comique 
and opera houffe, and is an allegory, in 
parody and satire, of the present state of 
drama, music drama, and filmland. Its 
melodies parody the earlier Wagner, Verdi, 
and composers of later date. " The Perfect 
Fool " was hailed as an excellent bit of 
musical humour on its production in Lon- 
don by the British National Opera Company 
in 1923, and is now thoroughly familiar to 
opera-goers. The music to the ballet in it 
was produced as early as 1921 at the Eoyal 
College of Music, and at the Promenade Con- 
certs in 1922, and is frequently performed 
as a concert piece. 

I do not know of a more perfect example 
of opera intime than Hoist's exquisite one- 
act opera " Savitri," published in 1924— his 
third opera. For it he prepared his own 
libretto from the Sanskrit of the Maha- 
barata. The action consists of little more 
than an incident dealing with the triumph 
of Love over Death, and there are but three 
characters : the husband Satyavan, the wife 
Savitri, and Death, whose hold upon Satya- 
van is frustrated by the sheer strength of 
the love of his wife. Apart from the music 
given to these three characters, there is only 
that supplied by a small orchestra and a 
chorus of female voices ; yet so fraught with 
human interest is the story, and so com- 
pletely does its emotional content find vent 
in the music, that the little work has been 
repeatedly produced by the British National 
Opera Company because of its appreciation 

by audiences, although it is not well suited 
to a large stage. 

This unconventional operatic outlook has 
not appealed in certain unimaginative critical 
quarters where an opera must be planned 
strictly after Wagner, or Puccini— to men- 
tion two diametrically opposed types— for 
it to gain consideration. When, therefore, 
Hoist's latest musical work for the stage,' 
"At the Boar's Head" (on a libretto 
adapted by the composer from Shakespeare's 
Henry IV), was produced at Manchester on 
April 3 last year, there was general admira- 
tion of the aesthetic and technical beauty of 
. the music, which is in complete accord, 
nationally, with the text; but a dissatis- 
faction, in some quarters, because of the 
absence of what are generally termed 
" strong situations " in the dramatic action. 
And this although Hoist had been careful 
to describe his work as " a musical inter- 
lude," to which label it admirably conforms. 
It may, in fact, be regarded as a reaching 
out towards a new art-form for the stage. 
One of Hoist's very earliest works was an 
opera, another a symphony (the " Cotswold 
Symphony"), whilst his second opera, 
"Sita," was written in 1906, the year before 
the Vedic Hymns for voice and piano, and a 
" Somerset Rhapsody." 

His " First Choral Symphony " was com- 
posed for the Leeds Musical Festival and 
given its first performance there on October 
7, 1925, and had its London premiere on 
the 29th of the same month at the first 
concert of that season at the Philharmonic. 
Here, again, is innovation, for whilst there 
is nothing new in the combination of a chorus 
of voices with a full orchestra in a work of 
symphonic type, it is certainly a develop- 
ment of the form to use, throughout the four 
movements of the symphony, not only 
chorus, but solo voices. There is a literary 
text taken from the poems of Keats. In 
this magnificent work Hoist demonstrates 
his mastery of choral writing combined with 
instrumental colour, and there is a good deal 
in the writing for voice to remind us of his 
distinctive use of it in "Savitri," while in 
those parts of the work that are more 
instrumental than vocal in character, such 
as the extraordinarily vivacious scherzo, we 
are ever reminded of " The Planets." 
Though a lengthy work, and classical in 
manner, its interest for the listener is un- 
flagging, so varied is the light and shade 
and skilful the use of tone-colour and the 
interplay of rhythms. 

I must content myself with the bare 



mention here of some of the composer's 
other works — the " Dirge for Male Voices 
and Brass " (on a poem of Walt Whitman), 
scarcely known here but much played in 
America ; the " Ode to Death " (a favourite 
of its composer) ; the slight but effective 
Four Songs for Voice and Violin ; the Two 
Marches for Military Band ; Seven Choruses 
from the Alcestis ; " Hymn to Dionysus " ; 
and " Hecuba's Lament," all settings of Pro- 
fessor Gilbert Murray's translations of Euri- 
pides ; " St. Paul's Suite " (composed for 
the girls' orchestra at the school where he is 

now music master) for strings ; *' Fugal Con- 
certo " ; " Fugal Overture " ; a setting of a 
quaint old Cornish poem, " This have I done 
for My True Love," as well as many smaller 
vocal works, and a " Japanese Suite " for 
orchestra, an early composition. 

Sufficient has been said to show the wide 
range of Hoist's art, which is of international, 
rather than limited national, appeal, and 
although he is not engaged on any new work 
at present — or was not, when I saw him 
lately — there is no reason to suppose that his 
creative powers have reached their zenith. 


/^ALL of the Mountain and call of the Snow, 

^^ Gall of the winds from the hill- tops ablow f 

But I will remain 

Where the mist and the rain 

Bring chanting of Carols and Yule Logs aglow. 

Ring of the skates on the joy -laden air, 

Ring of young laughter and glint of gold hair I 

Ye call me in vain 

From the mist and the rain 

Where the great bells of London ring in the New Year. 

Scent of the forest and scent of the pine, 

Scent of the peat fire and smell of new wine I 

Ah ! Gall not again ! 

For the mist and the rain 

Have grappled my heart to this London o' mine ! 




OF ALL ! " 



THE Duchess walked with swift foot- 
steps along the carriage-road which 
led from the park, through a high 
stone arch, straight on to the beautiful 
stretch of solitary downland, where, accord- 
ing to local tradition, Boadicea made her 
last stand. 

Feeling what she very seldom did feel, 
just a little lonely, she had put on her hat, 
and slipped out, with her griffon, Puck, 
for only companion, from the charming 
room in the castle, which was called her 
grace's boudoir, down a narrow staircase 
leading straight out of doors. Her eldest 
son and his sister had been spending two 
or three days at Chillingworth Place, a 
neighbouring house, of which the hostess 
was a noted Mrs. Leo Hunter. The two 
were to come home this morning, and their 
mother thought that there was just a chance 
she might meet them on their way; only 
a chance, because there were two ways back 
■ — one by the downs, another by what was 
called the lower road to the castle. 

All at once she became aware that, as 
if framed in the arch, there stood on the 
rutty, white chalk cart-track cut in the 
short grass a small empty open motor-car, 
with two shabby suit-cases strapped on 

And then there fell on her ears the sound 
of bitter sobbing — a girl or woman crying 
her heart out on the other side of the park 

The Duchess stayed her steps just under 
the high arch, and she was glad she had 
done so, for suddenly there rose on the 
still air words, uttered in a man's voice, 

words which sounded startlingly near to 
where she stood concealed. 

" Why should we say good-bye now ? 
Why don't you throw up everything ? 
It isn't a bad sort of life out there— there 
are lots of jolly people ! I know I could 

make you happy " 

^^ There rose a wailing cry in the still air : 
" Don't tempt me, Jack ! I've promised 
to give you up — you know I have. They're 
both so proud of me, and they've been so 
good to me ! " 

The answer came at once, fiercely bitter : 
'' Good ? What rot ! They're selfish brutes 
— both of them, and / think your mother's 
the worst. If you sell yourself, as they hope 
you will, to some rich man, or what's called 
' an elder son,' they'll have a cosy old age. 
You know that as well as I do ! You've 
admitted it again and again ! " 

The girl's answer was uttered in quieter, 
more resolute, accents : ''I hate your talk- 
ing like that, Jack. It's beastly of me ever 
to say a word against mother. She knows 
I've become luxurious and pleasure-loving, 
and that now I'm not fit to be a poor man's 
wife. And you know, after all, that you've 
been awfully extravagant " 

The man broke in furiously, " And whose 
fault was that ? It was for you — to be near 
you — that I flung my money away ! If 
I'm a pauper now, it's because I've been 
fool enough to love you. If it weren't for 
leaving you, I'd be thankful to get away 
from the hateful crowd of mindless idiots 
who've made you what you are " 

Suddenly his voice changed, it became 
low, insistent, tender. ** I shouldn't mind 

Copyright, 1926, by Paul Reynolds, in the United States of America, 



if I didn't know you love me, too — even 
if I have been a rotter. We're such pals, 
we care for all the same things — oh, darling, 
we'd have such a glorious life together 
out there, if you'd only take the plunge ! " 

And then to those two, who believed them- 
selves so utterly alone in that solitary, wind- 
swept spot, there came a startling diversion. 
Puck, the griffon, began barking furiously. 

There was nothing for it, now, but for 
the Duchess to walk forward from under 
the arch. And then, while calling her dog, 
instinctively she looked to her right, where 
stood the two people whose voices she had 
just heard raised in the eternal duet of 
love, pain, and parting. They were stand- 
ing close up to the rose-red brick wall, 
under the spreading branches of an ever- 
green oak. 

The young man was tall and fair, and his 
now haggard face had about it something 
both arresting and attractive. Clasped in 
his arms was a girl whose slender body was 
now again shaking with agonised sobs. 
She was bare-headed, the woollen cap she 
had been wearing lay at her feet. 

Though she quickly looked away from the, 
to her, piteous sight, the Duchess had time 
to note that the girl was wearing a rather 
peculiar sports-frock. It consisted of a bold 
grey and brown check skirt, edged with tur- 
quoise blue, and a plain brown jumper, 
into whose grey collar a touch of the same 
blue as that edging of the skirt had been 
cleverly introduced. What made the un- 
happy pair's unwilling eavesdropper speci- 
ally notice what the young woman was 
wearing was owing to the odd accident that 
she herself possessed the exact twin of that 
frock. It had been sent to the castle a week 
ago, on approval, from the artist in dress 
where she got her country clothes. 

Calling the dog again sharply to her, Puck's 
mistress began walking quickly down the 
winding road which led ultimately to Chil- 
ling worth. 

More than would have been the case 
with most women, she felt stirred by the 
scene of which she had been an involuntary 
witness. For one thing, it always hurt her 
to see anyone in trouble, and she felt that 
the man and girl ehe had surprised on that 
lonely stretch of downland were indeed in 
deep trouble. 

And yet there are people who declare 
confidently that romance is dead — that the 
modern girl has " no use " for love ! The 
Duchess told herself that even if fashion 
affects and governs the manifestations of 

passion, the fundamental realities of life 
remain as they were, and love, when all 
is said and done, is still the lord of all as 
in the days of the old ballad. 

But it is, alas, no longer the fashion 
to love nobly, that is with tenderness and 
abnegation, as she herself — ^^oh, happy 
woman ! — knew herself to be loved, even 
now, after close on twenty-five years of 
married life. Has that type of love, the 
only type of love worth winning and giving, 
gone for the time being entirely out of the 
world ? According to many of her worldly 
wise friends, it has. 

At last she left the downland behind her, 
and was speeding along the solitary road 
edging the paling of Chillingworth Place. 
And then, when close to the lodge, there 
came a motor swinging through the open 
gate, and her heart gave a leap when she 
saw that it was her son. Lord Ardvilly, 
driving his sister home. 

'' Darlings ? " she cried. '' You've come 
just in time to give me a lift ! " 

The motor stopped ; Lord Ardvilly 
jumped out ; and the Duchess jumped in. 

"Go home by the lower road, Eobin. 
I interrupted such a touching love scene 
up by the stone arch " 

" They can't be at it still," observed the 
young man, smiling, 

** I'm sure they are ! " exclaimed his 
mother. "They looked as if they were 
going to be at it for hours. They were 
saying good-bye, but not, I hope, for ever, 
though they thought so, poor things." 

" Mother, you really are incorrigibly 
romantic 1 " And seventeen-year-old Lady 
Susie laughed aloud. 

To that the Duchess made no answer ; 
instead, she asked, " What sort of a time 
have you both had ? All the smart young 
London set, I suppose ? " 

" It was simply lovely, mother," the 
girl answered eagerly^ " and who do you 
think was there ? Someone I've always 
longed to see — the famous Irene Shell- 
bridge ! " 

" The famous Irene Shellbridge ? I've 
never heard of her " 

" Oh, but you must have done, mother. 
She's always called ' the beautiful Miss 
Shellbridge,' and she's always in the pic- 
ture-papers. She's really lovely — not just 
merely smart, and what father would call 
* chick,' but, well, just * it ' ! A long, pale, 
camellia-like face, with marvellous green- 
blue eyes, and naturally pencilled eyebrows. 
She's no need to make up, though of course 



she does make up, and rather overmucli. 
She's quite a good talker, too, and not a bit 
vain. We want to have her in our next 
party, if you don't mind ? " 

*' I never mind anything you want," 
said the mother fondly. 

But within a few days of the Duchess's 
solitary walk, and of a drive home which 
was to become retrospectively memorable, 

For one thing the Christmas holidays were 
over, and for a wonder there were no guests 
in the castle to be entertained, and she was 
settling down to the routine of the country 
life she loved so well. Also, the Duke and 
Lord Ardvilly, who had been away on a 
shooting visit, were coming back this after- 
noon, and the knowledge that she would so 
soon see them both filled her heart with joy. 

" * Why should we say good-bye now T Why don't you throw up everything ? It isn t^ a 
bad sort of life out there— there are lots of jolly people ! I know I could make you happy 

the Duke lost his only sister, and there 
were no young parties at the castle for 
quite a long time. 


The Duchess had just finished the last of 
her letters, and she moved away from her 
writing-table -with the pleasant feeling that 
she was now free — free even to do nothing, 
if so it took her fancy. She felt happy to- 
day—perhaps a thought absurdly happy. 

She was a very feminine woman ; she 
liked to have her menfolk about her ; and 
her eldest boy had been away from home a 
great deal these last three months. When 
he had first become what a great-uncle 
of hers called an ensign in the Guards, he had 
always come home for even the briefest 
leave. But of late he had begun to go about 
a good deal— here, there, and everywhere, 
or so it seemed to his mother, often stay- 
ing with people whose names she hardly 



knew, and of whom, deep in her heart, she 
vaguely disapproved, for they were the 
New Rich, rather than those who were now 
the New Poor. But of course her boy's 
new friends had a great deal to offer in the 
way of " fun " and " sport " to even the 
least sophisticated young man. Also every 
fledgling must leave the nest some time, and 
the Duchess sometimes reminded herself of 
the old saying, *' Homekeeping youths have 
ever homely wits." However, now, to-day, 
her eldest son was coming home for quite a 
long time, in fact, for a whole week. . . . 

Suddenly she leapt to her feet with a cry 
of welcome, for the door of the boudoir 
opened quietly, and the two so dear to her 
walked through it. 

" My dear," said the Duke, in what was 
for him a curiously gentle voice, " Robin 
has something to tell you." 

Then he added, irrelevantly, ** We came 
by train. We did not motor down." 

Her heart began to beat quickly, painfully, 
for, as she kissed them both, she knew as well 
as if he had already told her that her boy 
was in love — that he was engaged, or, if 
not actually engaged, about to be so, and 
to someone of whom his father did not 

While these thoughts, these certainties, 
flashed through her mind, she was suddenly 
startled to see the reflection of her face in 
the dim surface of an eighteenth-century 
mirror. All the colour, the clear bright 
pink of which she was. in a sense, innocently 
vain, for it owed nothing to art, had drifted 
from her face, leaving it very white. 

At last she spoke — her silence had not lasted 
more than a fraction of a minute, and yet 
it had seemed a long time to Lord Ardvilly, 
as well as to the Duke. 

" Well, Robin," she said, and tried to 
smile, " what is it ? " 

And then he blurted out, bravely and 
baldly, the words, " I want to, get married, 
mother. I love the most beautiful girl 
in the world. She's more than beautiful ; 
she's awfully good and kind. Clever, too ! 
Not a bit spoilt. I've been longing to have 
her here, so has Susie. But we didn't like 
to ask you, because you said we oughtn't 
to have a party till after the New Year." 

And then, she didn't quite know how it 
happened, he was again in her arms, and 
this time she felt him clinging to her — as he 
had sometimes done when he was a little 

" I'm so glad, so glad — if this is for your 
happiness, my darling boy." 

"Of course I'm happy ! Gloriously 
happy ! " 

Again the Duke spoke, and again he 
seemed curiously unlike himself. " Yes," 
he said quietly, and there was no twinkle 
in his eye, '* your son, Laura, has won the 
heart of the lady who, in my father's young 
days, would have been called the reigning 
beauty of London." 

" Then you've seen her, James ? " and she 
managed to put a pretty touch of eagerness 
into her shaking voice. 

He shook his head. " No, I have not 
yet had that honour"' and this time there 
was in his voice that familiar touch of dry- 
ness she had missed sorely in the last few 

Even so she still felt not only oppressed, 
but bewildered. W^hat a fool she had been 
not to guess why Robin, her cherished boy 
whom she had thought still all her own, had 
lately been so very, very much away ! 

Lord Ardvilly's eyes wandered across to 
his mother's writing-table. *' I wonder," 
he said impulsively, " if you'd write her 
a little line nowl There's still twenty 
minutes before the post goes. It would 
be so awfully good of you, mother " 

" But I don't even know her name ! " 
cried the Duchess hysterically. She tried 
to laugh — and failed. 

" Her name ? " The young man looked 
for a moment much taken aback. " Of 
course, I thought you knew her name — 
Irene Shellbridge." 

" Irene Shellbridge ? " she repeated slowly. 

The name meant nothing to her — and 
yet ? And yet it certainly awoke a dis- 
tant echo in her mind. She tried with 
agonising intensity to remember in what 
connection she had heard the name — and 

She was moving, now, towards her writing- 
table. '* Come over here and help me with 
my letter, Robin. But, before I write to 
her, I must ask you, dear boy, if you con- 
sider yourself engaged ? " 

He answered at once, with what she felt 
to be a good deal of manly dignity. " I 
feel sure she knows I love her — but no, 
mother, we're not engaged. I felt I ought 
to speak to you and to my father before 
speaking to her." 

" But — you think she loves you ? " and 
the Duchess looked up with a sad, searching 
look into her son's plain, honest face. 

He hesitated, and a flush rose to his fore- 
head. '' I think she does love me," he said 
in a low voice. " And yet — and yet — oh. 



mother, I can't believe in my luck ! It 
frightens me." 

She sat down and drew a sheet of note- 
paper towards her. ** I don't know what 
to say," she muttered helplessly. 

" Say you're longing to meet her, mother 
—surely that's true ? " 

'' Of course it's true," and her lips 

Then quickly she wrote the words.: 

** Wednesday, 
" Dear Miss Shellbridge, — 

'* My son has told me that you and he 
have become friends. I need hardly say 
that I am longing to make your acquaint- 
ance, and I hope you will give us the 
pleasure of seeing you here this coming 
week-end. If you wiJl allow him to do so, 
Robin will call for you and motor you down 
at whatever time is convenient to yourself 
the day after to-mprrov/." 

*^' Is that all rightj " she asked. 

*' Splendid, mother ! " 

*' And now for her address ? " 

" 2a, Grosvenor Mansions, Curzon Street." 

When the Duchess had put her fateful 
note into an envelope, Lord Ardvilly asked, 
shamefacedly, " May I post your letters 
myself ? I'd like to stretch my legs a 

She nodded. Had she spoken, tears 
would have choked her voice. 

The young man gathered up her pile of 
letters — the letters, she told herself bitterly, 
she had written — was it an hour, or aeons 
ago ? — when she was still a happy, care- 
free woman. 

And then, when the door had closed on 
her son, she put her hands over her face, 
and began to sob, convulsively. 

The Duke put his arms round her. ' ' Come, 
come," he said, "it isn't as bad as that, my 

But she could see — in fact his very words 
told her — how much he was disturbed. 

She got up suddenly, walked across to the 
door, and locked it. It was a trick she had 
when she wished to be alone — quite alone, 
or alone with one of her children. She 
very rarely did that when her husband was 
with her, for he disliked the doing of any- 
thing odd or unusual. But she thought 
he would forgive her to-day, and he did. 

She came quickly back to where the Duke 
was standing. 

*' Now, James " — and she put her hands 
on his breast — " why is it I've never heard 

of this girl before ? And yet— why do I 
seam to know her name ? " 

This time he laughed— one of his quick, 
cackling little laughs. 

" Thank Heaven ! " he cried, " Laura is 
herself again ! You've not heard of Miss 
Shellbridge, my dear, because, up to now, 
at any rate, none of our children have par- 
ticularly cared for the set— I fancy they're 
called ' the bright young things '—to which 
the young lady belongs. You know her 
name because she's really famous for her 
beauty. Eobin's right there— not a doubt 
of it ! But whatever she is or is not, your 
boy's set his heart on her. We've got to 
face that. It's lucky that you like clever 
people. This girl must be really clever, 
or she wouldn't have attracted Robin." 
She felt puzzled. '' You mean— — ? " 
" Well ? Don't opposites generally like 
one another ! " 

She allowed the gibe to pass. " What do 
you really know of her, James ? " 

As a rule the Duke was a very direct 
man ; but now he hesitated, he hummed, 
and he hawed. 

" There's really very little to know," he 
said at last. 

'' Come, come — you can't take me in, 
however clever you may be ! " 

He knew that what she said was true, so, 
picking his words, he answered, " Major 
Shellbridge began life with everything hand- 
some about him. Then he married an ex- 
travagant woman, and exchanged into an 
Indian regiment. They came home to find 
their only child grown up a beauty, and 
already taken up by your friend. Lady 

" My friend ? Don't dare to call her 

that ! I think her a horrid woman " 

" You must keep that thought to your- 
self, henceforth. Robin met the girl 
there, and I've little doubt but that 
Lady Chillingworth engineered the whole 

thing " 

" I suppose the girl's very extravagant ? " 
*' No one's over-careful in that set. But 
it's said that her parents are living on their 
little capital, treating their daughter as an 
investment." He added grimly, " They in- 
tend her to make a good marriage." 

" And they won't be disappointed," said 
the Duchess sorely. 

*' Well, as things are, we shall be wise to 

judge for ourselves as to what she's really 

like ; after something which happened to-day 

I shall never believe anything I hear." 

He was smiling broadly. "What d'you 



think Eobin and I heard this very after- 
noon, in the train ? " 

She gave him a quick glance. But there 
was no eager look of bright expectancy on 
her face ; and he told himself, with concern, 
that she was taking this unlucky business 
of the boy very hard — harder even than he 
had thought she would. 

" There were a couple of women in 
the railway-carriage, and they began 
talking about us.'" 

" About us ? " And theu 
there did come a little colour 
into her pale cheeks. *' Why, 
there's nothing to say — 
about us." 

'' Oh, isn't there ? " 

'' What did they 
say ? " 

'^I'll tell you, if 
you'll only listen." 

" I am listen- 
ing " ** 

came to you, it was a very difierent pair 
of shoes ! They said you were charming ; 
and the principal gossip, I thought her 
quite an old dear, declared that you had 
only one fault — this was that you were so 
very vague. To prove this she told a story 

about you " 

" About me ? How ridiculous ! " 

" She said that one day 
when I'd gone down to the 
station to meet you — an 
honour I don't ever remem- 
ber paying you, by the way 
— you'd been at once so 
overjoyed and so vague that 

** * I was getting a little anxious about you, Robin. You're very late. Had you a break-down ? * " 

" Well, they dismissed me with a word or you'd * kissed the porter and tipped the 
two, just saying that I was odd an& dull and Duke ! ' " 
proud. All true, no doubt. But when they Over the face he loved there came at last 



a ripple of laughter. ** Oh, I wish I'd done 
that ! Why did I never think of it '? '' 

*' Mother ? Here she is ■" 

Through the long, shadow-filled, book- 
lined room, where the Duchess sat close to 
a great log-fire, rang the joyful proud cry. 

The Duchess stood up, and as she did so 
she turned on a lamp which half an hour ago 
she had refused to have lit. She 
had even then been terribly anxious, 
for they were already long after 
their time. 

But now, thank God, there were 
the two for whom 
she had been wait- 
ing — Lord Ard- 
villy, not over-tall, 
and, oh, still so 
boyish in appear- 
ance, and, by his 
side, a tall, slight, 
almost wraithlike- 
looking figure. 

sented as she glided towards her hostess. 
But when the girl reached the circle of light 
cast by the lamp, the Duchess saw 


' We had ! 

But it didn't matter !* . . . With a break in his voice he exclaimed, * Mother, 
it's all right — and I'm the happiest chap in the world ! ' " 

Irene Shellbridge was wearing a pale- 
grey woollen frock, and that added to the 
strangely immaterial look which she pre- 

that she was very much made up, her 
cheeks rouged, her mouth a smudge of 
scarlet. But — she was beautiful. 



" I was getting a little anxioug about you, 
Kobin. You're very late. Had you a 
break-down ? " 

" We had ! But it didn't matter ! I got 
Irene into a comfortable, warm cottage, 
where they gave her an early cup of tea " 

And then he suddenly turned and took 
the lovely girl's hand in his. With a break 
in his voice he exclaimed, "Mother, ifs 
all right — and I'm the happiest chap in the 
world ! " 

The Duchess gathered the tall figure to 
her, and even through the thick warm 
stui! dress she felt it cold, cold. 

She took hold of the girl's hand . . . and 
it was like a dead hand. 

** My dear," she murmured, " you're 
chilled to the bone." 

And then, at last, Irene Shellbridge opened 
her painted lips. " You're very kind," she 
said, in a low, strangled tone. " But I'm 
not really cold — my hands are always like 

The young man was eager that his mother 
should see the beautiful girl he loved. Exul- 
tantly he turned on more lights, and the 
Duchess's visitor stood fully revealed. 

Yes, he had not exaggerated ! Even in 
her unbecoming, close boy-like motoring- 
hat, her face, if spoilt by powder and paint; 
to the Duchess's old-fashioned taste, was 
exquisite, each feature flawless. 

And then, all at once, the girl's beauty 
was obscured by a rush of tears welling 
up to her deep-lidded eyes ; and the older 
woman felt moved. 

" Eobin," she exclaimed, " go and find 
your father ! I know he was anxious too. 
Tell him all about your break-down. I want 
to make friends with Irene — and I can't do 
that comfortably with you standing there, 
watching us." 

The young man squeezed his mother's 
hand, and then, after a backward glance, 
he left the room. 

The Duchess waited till he had closed the 
door, then she turned out the lamp which 
stood close to where they were still standing. 

" We shall be far more comfortable so," 
and she gently forced the girl down into a 
chair before the glowing fire. 

'' Don't cry, my dear," she said gently. 

'' I'm tired, that's all — tired, and I sup- 
pose " — the girl tried to smile — " rather up- 
set. I didn't think — somehow I was sur- 
prised — when Eobin spoke to me." 

** But you knew he loved you ? " There 
was a touch of sternness in the Duchess's 

" I knew that people had gossiped about 


She waited a moment, then said de- 
liberately, *' And chaffed me about being 
a duchess " 

Her hostess winced a little. 

" — but the time went on, and as he said 
nothing, I thought it all a mistake." 

*' You're glad it has come right ? " 

The girl looked for the first time straight 
into the Duchess's face. There were deep 
dark circles round her eyes, and her lovely 
mouth, now spoilt by the gash-like streak of 
bright-red paint across it, was quivering. 

" I know how really lucky I am, for 
Eobin's so good, so kind, so unselfish — so 
unlike most of the young men I know." 

Then her voice altered ; it became eager, 
defensive. " I know you must be sorry, 
Duchess ! I'm sure you've heard horrid 
things about me. But, I want to tell you 
that I'm not a bit like what people think, 
and — and I do mean to show myself worthy 
of my luck." 

Again her listener winced, but she felt 
touched too, and, in a sense, reassured. This 
girl evidently had a heart, even, what is so 
much rarer nowadays, a conscience. But did 
she love Eobin ? Eobin's mother doubted 
it — ay, more than doubted it. 

She made up her mind she would be sin- 
cere. " It would be dishonest on my part 
to pretend that we were not very much 
surprised when Eobin told us of his love 
for you. But don't think that we've heard 
horrid things about you — in fact, I hardly 
knew your name ! The Duke was more 
fortunate. He had heard of ' the lovely 
Miss Shellbridge.' Beauty is a great asset, 
my dear — a gift of God that I, for my 
part, would have given a great deal to pos- 
sess, when I was your age." 

Irene's face lit up. Impulsively she ex- 
claimed, " Why, /think you're lovely — and, 
oh, so young-looking ! When we first came 
into this room I thought one of Eobin's 
sisters was sitting by the fire " 

" That's because I hadn't allowed the 
lights to be turned on ! " But, being a 
woman, and very human, the Duchess was 
pleased by the sincere compliment. 

" And now I'll take you to your room : 
I've arranged for your maid to be close 
to you." 

The girl's stiff, distant manner returned. 
" I haven't got a maid," she said shortly. 
Then she added, '' Eobin told me that you 
knew that we are quite poor— — " And 
this was Irene Shellbridge's first, and almost 



her last, allusion to her parents, if, indeed, 
allusion it could be called. 

*' I do like her ! I do — I do — I do — and 
you've got to like her too, James." 

'' I don't like her ! I don't— I don't— I 
don't — and I never shall like her, Laura." 

" She's infinitely nicer than we had any 
right to expect." 

'* I don't know, my dear^ what you did 

expect ; but I'm quite sure of one thing " 

And the Duke looked what he very rarely 
did look, thoroughly idisturbed. 

The Duchess gazed at him anxiously. 
*' Of what are you sure ? " 

" — that the girl doesn't care for Robin 
as a young woman ought to care for the 
man she is going to marry. She likes him — " 
he waited, seeking in his mind for a simile, 

*' in just the manner a girl likes some 

foolish old chap who's fallen head over 
ears in love with her, and — knows how to 
behave himself ! " 

" I should feel very miserable if I be- 
lieved that." 

" Since she arrived, five days ago, the 
girl has fallen in love." The Duke was 
smiling now. 

'' What d'you mean ? " cried the Duchess, 

'* She's fallen in love with ^oi/, Laura. 
It's you who've won her heart — not that 
poor lad of yours ! She'd far rather be 

in your company than Robin's " 

" I know what you mean. But it's only 

because she's never known " 

She stopped, a little confused. 
" — a really kind, loving woman before ? 
I'm inclined to agree with you there." 

" No, no ! I didn't mean that " 

" By the way, I suppose she's got 
some friends hard by — I mean in the 
town ? " 

The Duchess looked startled. " I don't 
think so." 

" She must have, for she has slipped off, 
alone, after breakfast every day, at the time 
when you're always busy over your letters, 
and when I'm busy with Robin. And once 
Susie met her in the High Street, tearing 
along — -" 

" How very odd ! I think the truth is 
she likes being alone." 

'' She may now, but mark my words, 
Laura, if they do marry, it won't be long 

before the old saying comes true " 

" What old saying ? " 
" In married life three's company, and 
two is none," quoted the Duke. 

" All the world loves a lover," and very 
soon the Duchess had become aware that 
everyone in the castle, at any rate, realised 
that Lord Ardvilly was going to be 

Yet, though everyone brought into im- 
mediate contact with her, excepting the Duke, 
was becoming fond of her, and regarding 
her as the future Lady Ardvilly, Irene 
Shellbridge showed a curious shrinking 
from even a private announcement of 
her engagement. Stranger still, from the 
point of view of the Duchess, she resolutely 
declined to allow her own parents to hear 
the great news till her return to town. 

Even so, all doubts were put at rest, at 
any rate within the castle, by the arrival 
from London on the Tuesday of a mysterious 
gentleman, who brought with him a modest- 
looking black box. The contents of the box, 
so he informed the housekeeper when enjoy- 
ing the excellent luncheon provided for 
him, had been insured, as a special risk for 
that one day, for no less a sum than ten 
thousand pounds ! 

Now while this confidence was being made, 
the Duke, the Duchess and all their children, 
including the hero of the occasion, were 
gathered together in the Duchess's boudoir. 
And, on a low table, drawn up in the middle 
of the room, near, yet not too near, to the 
fire, lay what that modest black box had 
contained. A mass, to wit, of wonderful, 
gleaming jewels — pearls, strung and un- 
strung, emeralds, diamonds, sapphires, and 
rubies, set and unset, the whole looking, so 
said Lady Baby, as the youngest daughter 
was still called, like a corner from Aladdin's 
Cave ! 

Now the Duchess had been a great heiress, 
and she was still a very rich woman. To 
those that have, more is often added, and 
so perhaps it was quite natural that a few 
days ago, what to herself she had called 
a nice little sum of five thousand pounds, 
had unexpectedly appeared in the form of a 
bonus, and been added to her current bank- 
ing-account. This sum she had already 
privately told her eldest son should be his 
to spend as he chose on the future Lady 

And now they were all waiting impatiently 
for the fortunate girl who was to make her 
choice as to what she would like to possess 
among these beautiful jewels. But Irene 
Shellbridge, though she knew they were 
expecting her, dallied strangely. 

At long last the door opened, and, as 
she walked into the room, a violent tremor 



ran through tha heart; of one of those who 
had so longed to see her here. 

And yet even while that strange sensation 
of sharp recoil sprang into being, the Duchess 
was telling herself that she was a fool — a ner- 
vous, suspicious fool. What had brought that 
sensation of extreme surprise, and vivified 
into sudden life a forgotten incident which 
had been as if obliterated from the tablet 
of her memory, was such a trifling thing! 
Only the fact that Lord Ardvilly's fiancee, 
her lovely face lit up into a quivering 
smile, was wearing, on this mild winter 
afternoon, for the first time since her arrival 
at the castle, a charming and rather unusual 
jumper-suit. The skirt, of a bold grey and 
brown check, was bordered with a band of 
turquoise blue, while the plain brown jumper 
moulding the slender figure had a grey collar, 
on which were cunningly worked in touches 
of the same blue which edged the skirt. 
Suddenly the Duchess put up her hand with 
an instinctive gesture over her face. But 
that gesture did not shut out the vision 
which had so suddenly sprung into life; 
the vision of a man clasping in his arms a 
tall, slight figure who was clad in the twin 
to the sports-frock, now worn by the girl 
bending over the gleaming jewels. 


" You do like her, mother ? You've be- 
come real friends with her ? '' 

There was a very urgent note in the young 
man's voice. He was going back to London 
to-day. His leave, prolonged on the plea of 
'' urgent private affairs," was over. 

The Duchess looked at him — a long, 
steady, half-sad look. 

" Yes," she said deliberately, " I do like 
her, and I have made real friends with her, 

" She already cares for you so much," 
he went on. *' Sometimes," and then 
lightly, but with a grave undercurrent to 
his words, he went on, '' I feel, mother, as 
if she loves you even more than she loves 
me " 

" That's nonsense, of course ! " she said 
fondly. " I think she's proud and shy — 
very good things for a girl to be in these 
days, my darling boy. But of course I feel 
I want people to know of your engagement, 
now that it's really settled. And equally, 
of course, I long to meet her parents." 

" I don't think you'll like her mother," 
he muttered. Then suddenly he exclaimed : 
*' I used to long to say to the old girl, 

/Don't worry — I'm quite as anxious to be 
caught as you are to catch me 1 ' " 

" Robin ! How — how horrid ! " 

" Forgive me, mother. I'll never call 
Mrs. Shellbridge that again — even to my- 
self. But, well — I don't wonder the poor 
darling shrinks from the thought of her 
mother's indecent joy." 

And then the Duchess asked a question 
that surprised her son. *' Have you taken her 
to see the stone gate ? " she asked. 

" Not yet — I always think that special 
view only looks beautiful in good weather. 
It's just my luck " — he was standing by the 
window, drumming his fingers on the panes 
— " that just as I'm going away we're going 
to have a really splendid day at last ! If 
it's fine, you take her there, mother." 

" I will," said the Duchess in a low tone. 

He looked at his watch. *' I must be 
off now — I'll go and say good-bye to her ! " 

But the Duchess was not surprised to hear 
at lunch, in answer to the question, " Did 
you see Robin before he left this morning, 
my dear?" the quick reply, "No, for I 
was up in my room, writing letters." 

Now up to that moment the Duchess had 
been uncertain as to how she would spend 
the early afternoon ; but the answer of 
Lord Ardvilly's fiancee made up her mind 
for her: 

" I wonder if you'd care to go for a real 
walk with me to-day, Irene ? — ^right through 
the park and out on to the downs ? Now 
that we have a good day, I'd like to show 
you something of the country." 

And eagerly — for she was curiously bright 
and cheerful now that the young man she 
had promised to marry had left the castle — 
Irene Shellbridge answered, " I should love 
that ! " 

And now, an hour later, the two were 
approaching the high arch of the stone gate. 
The Duchess had driven through the gate 
two or three times this autumn. But this 
was the first time she had walked there 
since she had witnessed that piteous parting, 
a little over three months ago, on the day 
when she had first heard the name of this 
girl now walking by her side and looking, 
oh ! so lovely, in her thick woollen coat 
and tiny pull-on cap. 

Suddenly the Duchess felt what she had 
hardly ever felt in her now long life — that 
was, ashamed ; for what she had made up 
her mind to do was far from kind to the girl 
who was now looking down into her face 
with so eager, even so loving, a glance. 



It was one of those winter days which are 
a glorious herald of spring. Light white 
clouds scudded across the pale-blue sky, 
as if playing hide-and-seek with the sun. 

The Duchess stayed her steps, and together 
they looked up at and through the high 
stone arch. Glancing nervously at her com- 
panion, the older woman saw, relieved, 
that the sight of the arch awoke no memory. 
Was it conceivable that, by one of those 
coincidences that occur only in real life, 
the girl she had seen sobbing in a man's 
arms on just the other side of this arch was 
and would ever remain a stranger who, by 
some odd chance, had possessed the same 
individual and really peculiar sports-frock 
as her present companion ? She now hoped 
so, with all her heart. 

Feeling suddenly, agonisingly, afraid, she 
forced herself to walk on ; and then, as 
they passed out on to the lonely stretch 
of downland she saw, with a sharp pang 
of pain, that her suspicion, nay, her belief, 
was justified. Under her rouge and paint 
Irene Shellbridge had turned ashy pale, 
and she was now gazing, with a fixed 
look of startled fear, at the place where, 
three months ago, she had stood clasped to 
the heart of the man she had then loved. 

The Duchess felt a rush of tears well up 
into her eyes. There was something rigid, 
defiant, about the young tense figure by 
her side. Taking Irene's hand, the lovely 
hand which in a few days from now would 
be adorned with the superb emerald they 
had all chosen together yesterday — only 
yesterday — she said quietly, *' Irene, my 
dear ? " 

The girl started ; then she turned, and 
tried to smile. 

They walked on a few steps in silence. 
All at once Puck gave a loud bark and 
made a futile rush at a great sea-bird 
which had flown thus far inland. And then 
the Duchess saw that her companion also 
remembered even the futile foolish bark 
of the little dog. . . . 

That, somehow, made it easier for her 
to be now what she was by instinct, that is, 
absolutely honest. 

" When I saw you a little over a week 
ago," she said in a low, trembling voice, 
" I told you, Irene, that I had never seen you 
before, and I thought I spoke the truth. 
But yesterday, when you came down in that 
pretty sports-frock Kobin so much admired, 
I knew that I had seen you before." 

The white-faced girl stared at her, sur- 

" Do you remember standing over there, 
under that tree — there were leaves on it 
then — with a friend, one day in October, 
when you were staying at Chillingworth 
Place ? A dog rushed through the arch 
and barked, and the owner of the dog, a 
woman, followed him. I was that woman, 
Irene. I did not wish to spy, but I could 
not but see you both — and I heard enough 
to know that you and the man with you had 
been, even if you were no longer, lovers. • 
You may have forgotten, but I remember 
that you wore the same frock, then, as you 
wore yesterday." 

As the girl said nothing, only looked 
at her with wide-open desolate eyes, the 
Duchess went on, " Do you love my son 
now, Irene ? Nay, I will not even say do 
you love Robin, as he loves you, but can 
you honestly say that you care for him 
enough to make him a good wife ? I 
think you will agree that he'll never become 
the type of young man who is content, after 
awhile, to let his wife go her way, while 
he goes his. He's not a bit clever, but he's 
no fool. You won't be able to take him 

She almost added the words, *' You 
don't really take him in now." In- 
stead, she said, " If after you are married 
you don't care about him, he'll be most 
frightfully unhappy." 

At last Irene Shellbridge spoke. ** Are 
you going to tell him what you saw — that 
time ? " 

" No, Irene, I shall never tell him that. 
And if you can assure me, here and now, 
that the other man has gone entirely out 
of your life — then I will put right behind 
me what I saw that day, and I will never 
think of it again." 

And then it was as if a stone statue came 
to life, for the tears began running slowly 
down the unhappy girl's face. 

" Come, my dear, tell me that you love 
him ! He is worthy of your love ■" 

The other shook her head. " No," she 
said despairingly. " I don't love Robin. 

He's so good that I really thought I " 

She stopped abruptly. 

'' — could take him in ? You're wrong 
there ! He's not so good — and you're not 
so bad — as to make that possible, my dear." 

And then the two exchanged a strange 
understanding glance. 

Irene went on quickly, drawing convul- 
sive breaths: "I don't forget Jack Mun- 
stead. Duchess !— I can't forget him. He's 
loved me ever since I was only seventeen 



—before I became ' the beautiful Irene 
Shellbridge.' And I — I loved him back with 
all what heart I have." 

" Why didn't you marry him ? " 

'' There seemed a thousand reasons — 
though he didn't think so. He came into 
a little bit of money when he was twenty- 
five, and because of me he got into the 
set — that stupid, mindless set in which I've 
now been for three years. Also because of 
me he spent all he'd got, and more. But 
this summer one of his uncles gave him 
some land in Kenya " 

"Is he there now ? " asked the Duchess 

Irene became as red as a moment ago 
she had been pale. 

" No, he's not there now. He went out 
there last November ; but he felt as if he 
couldn't stand it without me — so he came 

"I can't help thinking that you have 
seen Mr. Munstead since you came here," 
said the Duchess slowly. 

The girl covered her face with her hands. 
" How did you guess ? " she asked in a 
stifled voice. " For it's true — horribly true ! 
But I suppose you won't believe me when 
I tell you I've been through agonies of 
shame these last few days. Yesterday I 
nearly went away with him to get married. 
But after all the wonderful kindness you've 
shown me, I felt I couldn't do anything so 
cruel " 

" Less cruel than what you have done, 
my child." 

There was a long pause between the two. 
Irene Shellbridge was gazing unseeingly, 
with despairing eyes, over the great expanse 
of land and sky about them. As for the 
Duchess, she was saying to herself in an 
agony, " Kobin — Robin — Eobin ! What can 
I do to break the fall to my boy." 

" I suppose," she said at last, '* that 
Mr. Munstead is staying at the Ardvilly 
Arms ? " (Oh, the irony of that thought !) 

Irene Shellbridge nodded. 

" But you have not actually met there ? " 

There was an urgent, anxious note in 
the Duchess's voice. She knew that what 
the castle knew the town knew, and, as 
often as not, at one and the same moment. 

*' We have always met outside the town, 
down by the river," said the girl in a 
stifled voice. Then she cried, " But, oh ! 
do believe me when I tell you that I had 
made up my mind to speak to you before 
I left ! I had come to know I could never 
marry R-obin — that was the real reason 

why I was determined to say nothing to my 

She covered her face with her hands. 
" Now that you know everything, I feel 
as if I would rather go away as soon as 
possible. Would you mind my leaving 
to-day ? " 

" I think that would be best. The second 
post will have come in when we get back, 
and you can say you have had to return to 
town a day earlier. I will make it right 
with everybody, and — and, Irene, if I were 
you, I should telephone to Mr. Munstead, 
and tell him that you are going away to- 
night. If, as I suppose, he was travelling 
with you to-morrow, he may as well do 
so this evening." 

Late that same afternoon the Duchess stood 
waiting for the girl whom in this last week 
she had, in a queer kind of way, come to love, 
and whom, even now, she could not find it 
in her heart to hate. 

At last Irene glided in, and again, in the 
thick pale grey frock in which she had 
arrived, she looked like a wraith. 

" I have come to say good-bye, and to 
ask you, if you can, to forgive me for all 
the pain I've given you, and am going to 
give Robin — dear, dear Robin. I know 
I'm giving up the good for the bad, but — I 
think you know that I can't help myself," 
she ended on a despairing note. 

" There's one thing," said the Duchess, 
" that I want you to tell me, Irene. Have 
you made any definite plans as to your 
future ? " 

" We are going to be married to-morrow 

And when she saw the look of surprise 
on the other's face, Irene Shellbridge smiled a 
wan smile. *' Jack got a Special Licence 
before he came down here." 

'' Then I suppose — I hope — you will go 
out with hiin to Kenya ? " 

Oh ! the relief of that thought — coupled 
with a feeling that it justified something 
most people would have thought very, very 
foolish that she had just done! 

" That's what he'd like me to do. But I 
doubt if we'd even be able to scrape up 
enough money for our fares just now. 
However, father, who is far kinder than 
mother, may help us. It would be much 
the most sensible thing to do." 

And then, suddenly, she threw herself into 
the Duchess's arms. 

'' I dare say you won't believe me," she 
sobbed, " but though of course I am not such 



a fool as not to know all I'm giving up, 
what I'm really sorry for is — is the thought 
that I shall never see you again." 

The Duchess felt touched. Her heart 
had become much lighter in the last few 
moments, and deep in that same kind heart 
she knew that what the girl said was true. 

Gently she disengaged herself from the 
clinging arms. 

"I've learnt to love you, my dear. I 
even still feel, in spite of all that has hap- 
pened, as if you had become, in a sort of way, 
a child of mine." 

She waited a moment, then added : "It 
is to that child of mine that I am giving 
what is in this envelope, as a wedding gift." 

She opened the girl's originally elegant 
now shabby hand-bag, and slipped some- 
thing into it. , 

Irene Shellbridge felt at once surprised 
and distressed. She realised that in that 
envelope there was a cheque — probably 
for a hundred pounds — and that it would 
be ungracious for her to refuse a gift so 
kindly and so delicately tendered. 

" And now," the Duchess said, " I think 
we ought to be going, for I heard the car 
come round. I'm coming to London, too. 

I'm sure you will understand why." She 
looked fixedly at the girl. " But I won't 
tell Robin my bad news till I've heard 
from you, either by note or telephone, 
that you are another man's wife." 

On their way to the station Irene Shell- 
bridge asked nervously, " May I introduce 
Jack to you. Duchess, or would you rather 
that I didn't ? Of course, he only thinks 
that I was here on an ordinary visit." 

The - other . hesitated. " Yes, do intro- 
duce him to me," she said at last. " And 
I will wish him joy ; " but I won't travel 
up in the same carriage." With quivering 
lips- she added, " After, all, my dear, I'm 
old-fashioned enough to believe that * love 
is still the lord of all' . . ." 

At Victoria Station she caught sight for 
a moment of the two young people. It 
hurt her to see in both their faces that 
moving expression which betokens the 
happiness of young love. And that look of 
joy and of serenity also told the Duchess, 
who saw life as it is, and not as sentimen- 
talists would like it to be, that Irene had 
opened her envelope, and found that it con- 
tained a cheque for five thousand pounds. 


TN my January garden 
•^ There are irises in flower : 
Pale, liiac irises that cheer 
Our darkest winter hour. 

In my January garden 

There are snowdrops, very white ; 
And, golden-flowered, erect and trim, 

The dainty aconite. 

In my January garden 

I can hear the robins sing. 
They tell us death will end in life ; 

As winter ends in spring. 






IN a drawer of Peter Dever's desk there 
was a half-sheet of note-paper with 
a list of figures on it. The figures 
were amounts in money. At the top of the 
list thej were large, and they grew smaller 
as they went down. Two-thirds down there 
was a red line. The first amount below 
the red line was fifteen thousand pounds. 
That sheet represented Peter Dever's vary- 
ing fortunes through a long term of trade 

He had come to the red line. 

He was. -facing the wall of immutable 
** can'ts " and " won'ts." There were the 
natural " can'ts," the limits set by physical 
law, the amount of work a machine can do, 
the amount of fuel it uses, the wear and 
tear. Beside them ranked the " won'ts " of 
folk who, unheeding nature's " can'ts," just 
as stubbornly hold out for hours and wages 
and conditions which only allow production 
at a loss. There was no avoiding that bar- 
rier. Peter had no grudge against it. He 
had no grudge against the men in his work- 
shops that hummed below, nor against an 
inimical government policy, nor against a 
period of economic depression. 

Those were elemental facts. But he had 
got to the red line, the point where he must 
needs get out and save what was left of 
his capital. The place had been running 
on a loss of some hundreds a week. Half- 
time might have been a palliative — but no 

If you divide the rate of loss by two you 
multiply the time taken by two. It was 
just plain mathematics no matter how you 
* juggled with it. 

Life was rather a mathematical business 
altogether to Peter Dever. 

Edward Braithwaite came . in, Peter's 
secretary and confidential adviser. He was 
a man past middle age, who had grown up 
and Jived his life in service to the firm. 

*' Braithwaite," said Peter, " I've come 
to the end." 

'' The end, sir ? " Edward Braithwaite 
was at a loss. 

" I'm going to close down." 

" Dever's ? " The secretary looked at 
him as though he spoke madness or sacrilege. 
'' Close down Dever's, sir ? " 

Peter nodded. " Why shouldn't I ? I'm 
losing hundreds every week. You know 
how things stand. There's money on the 
plant and buildings. If I stop, the sale of 
these would pay off my mortgagees. I^ 
should owe no man anything, and still be 
left with enough to live on. If I go on — 
who knows ? " 

'* There are the men, sir." Braithwaite's 
face was drawn. 

" The men." Peter looked down at his 
sheet of note-paper with the red danger line 
gashing it. "Dever's have always paid a 
fair wage. For months they have paid 
more than the market prices will allow. 
I'm ready to turn the place over to them as 
a free gift, barring the liability for which 
the fabric is pledged. They are taught to 
despise the organising work which I supply 
and to distrust the capital by which the 
fluctuations of business are stabilised. It 
might do them good to learn." 

Braithwaite looked down at the rows of 
slate roofs in the village. " The .whole 
place," he said half to himself, " stands or 
falls by Dever's. What will a month mean ? 
Arrears, evictions, all the little shops ruined. 
They'll all feel it, sir." 

" I've felt it first." 

Braithwaite turned on him sharply. 
*' You haven't, sir. You can't." The young 
boss looked up at this queer old man with 
the bare domed front and the bulbous nose 
and, under bony brows, the deep-set eyes 
afire. " Dever's is stone and iron and steam 
to you, sir. It wasn't to your father." 




It was true that Peter had not his heart 
in the place as his father had before him. 
He had been taken at the end of S. university 
career and pitchforked by the old man's 
untimely death into a position in which he 
felt no interest and for which he had little 

" It's a place where a fair output of work 
ought to receive a fair return of money," 
said the young boss distantly. " It doesn't ; 
so I've done with it. Isn't that business ? " 

*' No, sir," cried Braithwaite with fiery 
energy. " Business is not the proving of 
an equation. It's struggle and challenge, 
romance. It's living ! " He flung a hand 
towards the window and the orderly range of 
roofs. " There's, say, five hundred house- 
holds there ; honest folk faring near the bone, 
maybe. There's young chaps and girls look- 
ing to Dever's for their homes and all. It's 
all in your control. Theirs " 

'' Braithwaite," laughed the young man, 
'* you're a poet ! I'm a mathematician. 
That's the difference." He pointed at a 
buckled sheaf of papers. *' Come to facts. 
They're all there — costings, material, over- 
head. Show me where I can save one half- 
penny or produce one half-ounce more from 
man or machine. Tell me where I can find 
an order at a rate it will pay to fill." 

" Suppose," said Braithwaite rumina- 
tively, " I could show you, and because I 
have no figures in proof you would not 
believe?" ' 

" That's a fair question," admitted the 
young boss. *■ How long will it take you 
to prove your case ? " 

" A month maybe, maybe two." 

" I shall have little to live on if we run 
a month longer." 

"The men will have less," said Braith- 
waite. *' Remember you're not just playing 
for safety, you're gambling for success. The 
firms that come through this slump will 
reap a harvest." He paused a moment, 
then went on coolly : " It matters little to 
me. I could go, old as I am, to Merrivale's, 
and they'd pay me more." 

''Why don't you ? '' Peter's question 
was not challenge but pure curiosity. He 
had no psychology, only formulae — a bad 

" You said I was a poet just now," re- 
turned the old man. '' I'll answer you with 
a real poet's words : 

' The game is more than the players of the game, 
And the ship is more than the crew.' " 

*' There's nothing to play for," said Peter. 
'' Except the ship," put in the secretary. 

" Two months," said Peter after a pause. 
There was a fire in this old man not to be 
measured and set down mathematically. 
" And if you're wrong I'm ruined. What 
do I stand to gain ? " 

" Maybe," said old Edward, " your own 

Peter Dever looked at the half-sheet of 
paper in his hand for a moment and flicked 
it into the waste-paper basket. ^^. 

" Carry on, Edward," said he. 

A queer thing for a mathematician. 


*' We bide here a bit," said Braithwaite. 
His little two-seater eased up on the turf 
of the moorland road. 

" Yes ? " queried Peter. He had not 
repented of his enthusiasm, but growing 
shy of it had fallen back on languid disdain. 
" To admire the view, Braithwaite ? " 

The view was hardly admirable. Mist 
filled the valley. Out of this only the tall 
chimneys of the works pierced, grey and 
unlovely, almost bare of smoke, for it was 
Saturday afternoon and the fires were 
banked. About them grey moor stretched, 
white patched with shallow puddles. On a 
square patch, freer from loose stones than 
the surrounding waste, two ranged teams 
waited the referee's whistle. 

" Dever's v. Cardingmill," said Edward 
with a nod of his head. " They'll beat us. 
We're a man short, I see." 

*' A pretty scratch team," grinned Peter. 

They were. As the whistle went, the 
enemy, who had the kick, bored through 
the right wing, drawing a defence void 
of all science, mob-like in pursuit. There 
was a quick centre to a goal only held by 
the keeper — thirty seconds of play, and 
Cardingmill one up. " By George," cried 
the young boss, " the idiots were asking for 
it ! " 

" They're one idiot short," said the old 
man dryly. He called to Dever's goalie. 
" Where's Jock Thomson ? " 

" Not turned up, sir," returned the player. 
" His kit's here." 

*' If you meant what you said on Wednes- 
day, sir," said the secretary, *' get into that 
kit and play the game for Dever's." 

Peter revolted. " Get into one of my 

men's beastly A corner, by George! 

They'll be scoring again ! " Peter jumped 
over the side of the car, snatched up the 
bag that lay beside a goal-post, and van- 
ished into the pavilion. 

In three minutes he trotted on to the 



field in Dever's colours, thankful that Jock 
Thomson had packed a clean shirt. At the 
'Varsity he had just missed his " blue," 
but he had not touched a football since. 
The amateur of class has little chance in 

He made for the centre-half, uncertain who 
might captain the team. 

" Are you the captain ? " he asked 

" Sure thing, son." The player looked 
up curiously, " By gum, the boss ! " 

** I'm taking Thomson's place," explained 
Peter. " Where do I go ? " 

" Why," began the captain, and chance 

" Come to me, 'e did, as if I was the boss 
an' 'e was a beginner," he explained time 
and time again afterwards. The boss did 
not suffer thereby. 

But at first he was conscious ^ 

that his appearance was a joke ^ 

to the team. He carried more ^' \ 
weight than a player needs. He . \ 
was in his ordinary walking boots. / . ^ \ 
Besides, to these youths it was ' - / 
ludicrously incredible that the boss, .^ 
who abode in Olympian dig- 
nity, should play football at 

But he was one ' of those 


" Drawing a defence void of all science, mob-like in pursuit," 

sent an attack. Peter dropped into his 
game, took the ball off the enemy's toe, 
steadied it in a couple of long strides, and 
as the forward line got away drew the 
attack on to himself before passing. When 
he looked round the captain had taken the 
vacant place on the wing. 

" Shall I stay here ? " asked Peter. 

" Aye, sir," returned the captain. 

The young boss didn't know that he had 
done anything out of the way. He had 
naturally subordinated himself to the cap- 
tain, but that player's view of the incident 
was entirely different. 

born centre-halves who arc never in a 
hurry and are always on the spot. - Soon 
a conviction grew in the team that a big 
area in mid-field was safe and need not 
be worried about. So instead of doing 
somebody else's work, a sign of hysteria, 
each man began to do his own job. At 
half-time Dever's were two up, with the 
harder half to play. 

At the close they led by one. Carding- 
mill, who had come forth to easy victory, 
found defeat in their teeth and could not 
swallow it. Their captain came forward as 
the teams filed off. 



" Protest ! " he cried. " Our game ! 
You're playing a non-member." 

" How d'you know that ? " 

" He's not in the works. He curses like 
a gentleman." 

A shrewd blow ! 

" You knew when he came on," returned 
one of Dever's. " Why didn't you speak 
then ? " 

That was mere evasion. Cardingmill re- 
lied on the local league rules. " You could 
have sent us his name and asked us our 
permission yesterday. Since you didn't, you 

" Playing a non-member," chorused Card- 

The old man nodded. " Where's the non- 
member ? " 

Half a dozen accusing fingers pointed out 
the boss. 

" Non - member ! " said Braithwaite. 
" Laddies, he's president of the club. What 
have you got to say to that ? " 

Cardingmill had nothing to say. 

" First time I knew I was a member of 
this team," grinned Peter as the two walked 
towards the secretary's car. 

can only play club 

Peter joined in 
the protest. 
" Look here," he 
said, " I didn't 
know and our lads didn't think. They'll 
play you again any time and place." 

" We're not such fools," said Cardingmill. 
*! Why play when the committee will give 
us the game ? " 

Edward Braithwaite strolled up. " What 
for ? " he asked. 

" ' If you meant what you 

-Z' said on Wednesday, sir,' said 

the secretary, ' get into that kit 

and play the game for Dever's.' " 

"Aye," said Braithwaite, 
maybe the lads have learnt 
it for the first time too." 
Edward was a poet. Perhaps he 
meant more than he said. 

" Five weeks," said Peter, " two thousand 
nearer the brink, Edward, and nothing 

The remark was justified. The shops had 
been busy on standard material, for which 
in ordinary times there was a big demand, 
but the unsold stocks were increasing 
dangerously. Orders were very few. The 
drain on capital was steady. 

" Nothing done," agreed Braithwaite. It 
was not easy to keep alive the fire he had 
kindled. " I will tell you this, sir. You've 
put twenty per cent, on the efficiency of 
your machines." 

" Rot ! " said Peter. " How ? " 

" Because the men know whom they're 



Working for, and they're glad to work for 
him. They didn't before/' 

^' Junk ! " said Peter. " Anyhow, what 
does it matter since there's no work for 
them to do ? " 

" The answer, sir, is in poetry and not 
in mathematics," said old Braithwaite. 
" By the way, you wanted to see Grey, I 
believe ? " 

" I did," said Peter. " Send him in." 

A moment or two later one of the younger 
hands entered. Peter had come on him 
one evening at the institute, whither he had 
gone to attend a meeting of the Football 
Club. He had been attracted by the sight 
of a young workman seated before a draw- 
ing-board with pencil and compass before 
him, and on his face a blank and beaten look. 

'* What's your trouble ? " he had asked. 

*' I'm out of my depth, sir," Grey had 
admitted, and went on to explain tentatively 
that there was something in his head that 
wouldn't get on the drawing-board. There 
might be money in it. Later he was less 
certain'. '* If it would work some clever 
chap would have thought of it before, but 
I can't see why it won't."' 

He had no confidence. His mind had 
slewed round from trying to make the idea 
work to proving why it couldn't. He had 
failed in both. ^ 

Peter's knowledge of engineering draughts- 
manship worked. They had sat at it the 
whole evening and for other evenings too. 
In the end Peter shaded parts of the drawing 
in blue. " That, that and that anyone may 
make for you. These you must make your- 
self. You are taking a chance to show it 
to anyone." 

" Why, sir ? " Grey had asked. " Ain't 
you the boss ? " 

Now they were to assemble the model. 
For half an hour they were busy, breaking 
silence only with brief words : " Yon driver." 
" It won't clear." " Where's t' file ? " 

At last the lad twirled a wheel with the 
pull of his thumb. " By gum ! " he cried. 
*' It works ! " The boy's eyes were awash. 
" It's a fair knock-out. I can't think how 
it does it." 

" My lad," said the young boss, " you've 
got a fortune there ! " He went on to 
future policy. " You must register it. Get 
it protected. Then you'll have something 
to negotiate with, you know." 

Grey nodded vaguely. Business, it was 
plain, was beyond him. " Maybe that'll 
cost money, sir ? " 

" Say a hundred pounds," 

The boy frowned. ** Where'll I get a 
hundred pounds ? " 

It was an enormous sum to Alec Grey. 

" I'll lend you that," said the boss. 
" There's hundreds of thousands in the 
thing. You'll pay me back when you start 

Grey looked appealingly at him. '' You 
wouldn't think of joining with me, sir ? " 

Peter laughed. "I'd love to, but I 
haven't the money," he said. 

To Alec Grey, seated in the governor's 
watch tower with the humming shops below, 
that was incredible, a lie. It meant only 
one- thing. *' Sorry, sir," he said. " I 
thought likely it might be a return for your 
kind interest. I see it's not worth risking 
your money in." The refusal of the young 
boss to back his words with coin proved 
to the lad beyond any doubt the true market 
value of his work. He began morosely 
taking down the model. " I'll think no 
more of it." 

- " My dear chap," broke in the boss 
eagerly, '' you must go on." 

*' You've given the verdict, sir," returned 
Grey quietly. 

There was nothing for it but explanation^ 
or this boy, with his genius for invention and 
all the moody temperamentalities that go 
with it, would be scared off his rightful 
heritage and doomed perhaps for life to 
mean paths. Peter saw all^ that. Peter, 
though he did not know it, was learning 
poetry. Perhaps he had picked it up on 
the football field, or with the common folk 
in the village street. 

Quite simply he explained. '' Look here. 
Grey, if I had the money I would work that 
idea of yours and make a fortune for us 
both. If I knew where to find the money 
I would do it." His glance swept the glass 
roofs below. "As it is, this place is in 
pledge — buildings, machinery, stock. My 
own house and furniture is under bond. If 
I financed you I'd have to close down here 
a month earlier, perhaps two, and in that 
time we might get a contract that would let 
us carry on till trade revives. I'm betting 
on that. But I've nothing more to borrow 
on. I can't let the whole works down to 
give you your chance, though I can lend 
you the money to protect the designs." ' 

" You mean, sir," cried Grey, dark-flushed 
about the brows, " you're poor ? " 

" If I shut down to-day I'd have enough 
left to keep body and soul together." 

" That's enough to start us both with the 
jigger, sir," said the boy eagerly. " If it's 




you think, there^s enough for both of will be mailed to you by return. We are, sir, 

"Yours faithfully, 

Peter shook his head. " Protect it, then 
go into the market and find your money, 
my lad. I've got to stick to the ship till 
it sinks." 


*' Edward," said Peter Dever, as he went 
through his morning mail a week later, 
** what's the West Hoi ton Produce Synd 

** Never heard of it before, sir." 

*' Look at this." 

The boss passed across a typewritten 

" Dear Sir," it ran, " We are in a position 
to take a continuous supply of the goods 

" The West Holton Produce Syndicate. 

" Per J. H." 

" Fishy ! " cried Edward. " Where's this 
office — Nineteen, High Street, Holton ? " 

" It's for cash," returned the boss. " I'm 
all for it." 

Sir,' he said, 'the Crewdson tender is turned down. We're finished.*" 

mentioned in the accompanying schedule — 
all standard . weights and designs at the 
ruling market prices. If you care to under- 
take the supply we shall be glad to hear 
from you at once. Since our venture is a 
new one, we propose dealing in cash by 
weekly draught to cover the amount of 
goods which should be available for delivery 
at the end of each week. Difficulties of 
shipment as well as certain political con- 
siderations make it uncertain when delivery 
will be demanded, but the goods must be 
ready for transport by the dates and in the 
quantities mentioned in the schedule. We 
are willing that they should lie in your 
warehouse at our risk until such time as 
delivery can be arranged. If you are able 
to comply with these conditions we shall be 
glad of a prompt acceptance, in which case 
cash to cover the first week's instalment 

It gave definite purpose to the works. 
It might have been the first sign of a trade 
revival. But Peter's jubilant '* I'm all for 
it " did rather overestimate the size of the 
contract. The Syndicate order took less 
than two days of each week to fill. Some- 
times there were other smaller orders, but 
most of the week was barren still — a matter 
of running the machines on material for 
which the demand was bound to arise, or 
putting men on to anything to keep up 
the circulation. 

Certainly the Syndicate's weekly cash 
helped to stanch the drain on capital. Peter, 
who had once seen only four weeks more run- 
ning before he went into the ditch, saw six, a 
new lease of life ; anything might happen. 

He put it cheerfully to the secretary. 
" Trade improves, Edward. The Syndicate 
might increase their order." 



Braithwaite was unusually doubtful. 
" They haven't asked for delivery of the 
first 'consignment, yet, sir.'* 

It was true. The goods were cased, 
stacked and labelled, but not one pennyworth 
had gone out of the works. 

*' Anyway," said Peter, " we've got the 
cash and we're living on it." 

" It's hand to mouth," warned the old 

** Better than yesterday's hand to to- 
morrow's mouth." 

Braithwaite still shook his head. "Any 
day it may stop. Man, I doubt it was ill 
thought of me to urge you to keep oq so 

Peter took a piece of paper from his desk 
and handed it to the secretary. *' Some- 
thing you said once. I remembered it and 
wrote it down : 

* How in all time of our distress. 
And in our triumph too, 
The game is more than the players of the game, 
And the ship is more than the crew.' 

And that reminds me," he went on. 
" We've got into the League's semi-finals, 
and we're going to beat Potter's on Saturday. 
Keep smiling, Edward ! " 

But Peter Dever had not been to Nine- 
teen, High Street, West Holton. 


Braithwaite's forebodings were justified. 
Except for the Syndicate order the slump 
strengthened, and with it the old man's 
remorse. During the next three weeks he 
tried to get the boss to review that decision 
which he himself had urged. " It's no use," 
said Peter, "I'm bitten with the fight and 
I can't let the men down. I'm in it till the 
count of ten ! " 

" I wish to Heaven I'd kept my mouth 
shut, sir," said Braithwaite bitterly. " It's 
on my conscience." 

But Peter laughed. " No man is a failure 
till his coffin lid's screwed down," said he. 
" You taught me that, Edward." 

It was true that Braithwaite had been 
responsible for that gay adventurer's cour- 
age. Peter had come from the 'Varsity 
unwillingly, a mathematician, to inherit 
perforce his father's uninteresting business. 
He had run the place on curves and f ormulse, 
taking no account of the most precious 
essences of loyalty and comradeship, whose 
volume and moment cannot be calculated 
as P times G over T. divided by the tangent 
of something funny ! The men had been 

to him a distinct order, a little higher than 
the animals. 

Since his coming to the playing fields, 
to the club, and to the village in general, 
he had seen things differently. There had 
been one lad, for instance, who could invent 
machinery ; others who could play a decent 
game of soccer ; many stout and loyal to 
the things they held worthy, firm or team 
or home. The world took on different 

Yet ruin was ruin ! That was a mathe- 
matical fact. He began to wonder what 
he would do when the crash came. His last 
hope, the Crewdson contract, would soon be 
accepted or rejected. If he got that, though 
his quotation returned no halfpenny of 
profit, it would keep steam in the boilers 
for another half-year. He did not calculate 
that other firms with greater reserves and 
an equal hunger for work might even tender 
at a loss. 

The secretary knew it — feared it, at least 
— knew it finally one morning before the 
boss came. It urged him to full confession, 
a grim business. He was as white and drawn 
as a man on whose soul some judge has 
cried God's mercy when Peter arrived. 

" Sir," he said, " the Crewdson tender is 
turned down. We're finished." 

Like a blow to the point, it jerked Peter's 
head up. " There's still ten days," he said. 
" The Syndicate order may increase." 

" It won't," returned the old man, " God 
forgive me ! I should have told you." He 
bent his head on his hands at the desk. 

"What?" asked Peter. "What, old 
friend ? " 

That " old friend " stabbed the man. 
" Oh, sir," he cried, " I'm sick and sorry 
and ashamed with what I've let you sacrifice 
to keep the place alive. But I didn't know 
about the Syndicate till last week. I went 
• to their office. It's one room. There's one 
clerk and typewriter " : 

" Their ' cash is as good as another's,'* 
said Peter. " I don't " -v.^ 

" But their clerk is Holdsworthy, who used 
to be in our counting-house. They had to 
have someone safe. It's the men, sir, our 
own men, who are buying out of their weekly 
wage a bit from each to help the place along. 
We haven't had a real order worth doing for 
the last " 

" Our men ! " cried Peter with wonder. 
" Our men did that ? " 

" Every one of them," returned the old 
man miserably. "It's a fool's paradise 
we've been in. It's " 



" Splendid ! " cried Peter, aflame with the 
thought of those grey silent workers, who had 
so small comfort in their lives and so great 
toil to win it, clipping their wage to save 
the firm. " Come down," he cried with 
enthusiasm ; " I'll have the hooter call them 
to the yard. I owe them thanks. Come 
along ! " 

The generous admiration for the moment 
swamped his despair. All might be lost — 
was undoubtedly lost — ^but he had to get 
to those stout lads and say " Well played ! " 

Old Edward Braithwaite sat on hopeless. 
His word had lured the young boss to this 
grim fight that. had left him penniless. That 
lay heavy on his heart. Peter was a great 
lad, but it is a hard world for failures. If 
the gamble had been Edward's he would 
not have complained. But the old man 
had called the tune, and Peter had the piper 
to pay. 

Down below the hooter blew. The word 
had gone round. Braithwaite walked to the 
window to see the shops pouring their gangs 
into the yard. Outside stood Peter on a 
drum of oil, the young boss whom his advice 
had broken. 

He turned aside and took up a paper — • 
anything to take his attention. Automati- 
cally, unheeding, he read it over and over. 
" During last night's gale on the east coast 
five ketches at anchor on Stillfleet Eoads 
broke their moorings and were driven out 
to sea. The crews were rescued, but nothing 
had been heard of the derelict vessels." 
He kept on at the same phrase again and 
again : '' Nothing has been heard of the 
derelict vessels — heard of the derelict vessels 
—they were loaded " - ^ 

In the yard the boss drew the crowd 
about him to speak his thanks. " My dear 
chaps," he said, " I've just learnt the secret 
of the Syndicate." 

'' Who's split 1 " came like lightning from 
the astonished crowd. 

" No one," said Peter. " Braithwaite 
went to Holton and found out. If it were 
not for him I would never have known the 
sort of fellows I have had to work for me, 
nor guessed how my team backed me, nor 
been proud of the lads who've gone down 
fighting with me." 

" Gone down," muttered the crowd. 

" Gone down," he repeated. '' We can't 
go on. We're taking in one another's wash- 
ing. You're turning money which may tide 
you on a bit into goods that none will buy. 
I risked my own money, but I'm hanged 
if I'll risk yours." 

" Who's risking owt, lad ? " called an old 
man from the gang. " The Union won't 
let us work for less, and what were we to do 
when yon lad Grey told us from your own 
mouth how you'd put your fortune into 
the place to keep it going ? You didn't 
do that for yourself. You knew you stood 
to lose it. You did it for us." He looked 
round on his mates with grim humour. 
*' We're all manufacturers now, chaps ! 
We can sec the other side." 

Peter went on. " Anyhow, we can't blink 
it, lads. Dever's is ended. My one hope 
is that someone may take on here and keep 
you going — and good luck to you all ! 
When these gates shut on Saturday I'm 
out of a job myself. But I couldn't go 
without telling you that I'm proud to think 
we've worked together. It's a poor skipper 
you've had — but no man ever led a grander 
crew. That's what " 

His message was interrupted by a tinkle 
of glass. Up in the office the secretary 
had broken the window and was leaning 
out shouting incoherencies. All eyes turned 
to him. 

With a great effort he mastered an over- 
powering emotion. " Get it on the trucks, 
chaps," he shouted. " Don't stand there 
starting. Get it on ! " 

The crowd fell silent, wondering, and the 
young boss shouted up, " What's the matter, 
Edward ? " 

" Peter," cried the old secretary, " man, 
it's wonderful ! " He shook a newspaper 
in the air. " The gale — yesterday's, ye'U 
mind. It sunk half Norriss and Starkey's 
boats with the stuff for the Clynmouth har- 
bour extension. I've got to them over the 
'phone. Man, they're up to their necks 
in forfeit if they don't deliver within two 
days, and yon store's fair bursting with the 
stuff they want. If you have it on the rail 
this day, they'll share the rest of the contract 
with you ! '" 

" Half the contract ! " cried the young 
boss. " It would keep us at full pressure 
for a year. Half!" He turned to the 
crowd about him. " Empty the trucks in 
the siding," he called. '* Load it up. 
Syndicate or our own. We're all in the 
Syndicate now. I'll get through to the 
railway and arrange special transport. 
Jump to it, my sons, every man of you! 
We'll have it cleared before noon, and then 
the team will go out and lick Potter's for 
the championship of the league ! " 

" Lick Potter's," quavered an hysterical 
voice from a youth on the edge of the crowd. 



** If you turn out with us, chum, we'd mop 
up the Villa ! " 

:jc ^ :^ i|: ^ 

When Peter came back from the railway 
office, Edward Braithwaite was leaning out 
of the window to con the busy sidings. 
Gangs worked blithely, cranes whistled, and 
men sang. Some wag had put the spirit 
of the hour into parody : 

" It's a long, long way to Clynmouth Harbour, 
A long way to go.'* 

** Men don't work like that for Union 

wages," said the boss. *' This is a miracle, 
Edward. We can work Grey's patent now, 
and that alone will save us. Your poetry 
has made us a good crew and a good ship." 

" Aye, a miracle ; but not mine, Peter," 
returned the old man. " Your heart framed 
the good crew and your pluck saved the good 

" Except," said the young boss, " that 
you have shown us the star to steer her by." 

Peter, you may notice, had become a poet 


TVTOW birds are dumb and naked trees 
•^^ Stand gaunt and grim under the sky ; 
Oh, many times more mute than these, 
Starker am I ! 

Where is a garment fit to wear 
Against the chill of love outworn ? 
What courage for the breasts that bear 
The ice of scorn ? 

So much the poor heart doth depend 
On crumbs of kindliness it knew, 
That never shall it miake an end 
Beseeching you. . . • 

O most Beloved I to recall 

Our brave sweet bargain and come back, 

So there remain in Winter's thrall 

Of Spring no lack. 


THINGS . . ." 


Author of " Boundless Water ^'^ " Five People,' ' " Stinging Nettles, '^ " The Presence and 

the Power,'' etc. 



' 'M sure," said Camilla, " that I'm not a 
bit ungrateful, or cynical, or anything 
of that kind — but — oh, well ! " 

" Which means, I suppose," replied Mrs. 
Battishill, "that you find life dull, weari- 
some, boring, tiresome -" 

'' Oh no, no," protested Camilla. '' How 
could I ? " 

'* How, indeed ? " responded her friend 
with just an inflexion of hardness in her 
careful voice. " But it is you fortunate people 
who do get bored." 

" I'm not bored. I'm not, I'm not," said 
Camilla vehemently. 

" You're ashamed to say it, anyhow,'*' 
smiled Mrs. Battishill. " I suppose that is a 
saving grace. Bored ? You've had a fairy- 
tale life. And you've the whole world before 
you. Think of it, my dear, the whole world." 

" It doesn't mean anything, really," said 
Camilla quickly. - 

'* It does." The visitor was drawing on 
her long soft gloves. " You know it does. 
But I can quite understand that you are 
bored. People like you, who have every- 
thing, always are." 

Camilla reflected a second, with white 
wrinkled brows. 

" I suppose you want a new sensation," 
remarked Mrs. Battishill. 

" There aren't any," smiled Camilla. 

To anyone who knew her, it might seem 
that she was right ; wealth, beauty, culture, 
luxury, love, all the joys and glories of the 
earth, had always been hers. Camilla Att- 
wood was not only of immensely rich people ; 
she was in herself lovely, gifted, fascinating 
and popular. Wherever she went, she 
** queened it " ; her friends were like a court 
about her ; she had shone and dazzled through 
Europe and America ; she was both exclu- 

sive and popular, adored by the elect, wor- 
shipped by the people. 

She was really lovely, the culmination, as 
it were, of a type ; and she was really clever, 
not in any superficial manner, or on merely 
" smart " lines. She had genuine gifts, and 
money had been poured out lavishly on the 
cultivation of them. 

There was very little that she ^ad not 
done, there were very few places that she had 
not seen, very few notable people she had 
not met, absolutely no accomplishment that 
she could not claim proficiency in ; and now 
she was engaged to Sir Michael Warrington, 
an enormously rich banker and a finished 
cosmopolitan of admired intellect, pervad- 
ing charm, and universal popularity. 

As Lady Warrington, her life would be, 
if possible, even more delightful, varied, and 
dominant than it was now. Sh« had chosen 
Sir Michael from literally a " crowd " of 
suitors, and as she had no reason for consulting 
anything but her heart in her choice, it was 
generally believed that she was extremely 
happy in her imposing lover's adoration. 

Mrs. Battishill, however, as she rose to 
take her leave, wondered. She had known 
Camilla since she was a baby, and never 
before had she seen any hint of this restless 
boredom, this dissatisfied melancholy, that 
Camilla showed now. Oh, just a faint hint, 
but there it was. 

" You're overwhelmed by the gifts of the 
gods," smiled Mrs. Battishill. '' Too much 
has happened to you— you're only twenty- 
five, Camilla ! " 

" How long that makes the rest of life 
seem," answered the girl. " How strange to 
look ahead and see years and years of repeti- 
tion and every year, I suppose, things getting 
more and more stale." 




" What a horrible way of looking at it ! " 
exclaimed the elder woman. " I don't want 
to throw truisms at you — but really ! " 

" I know," smiled Camilla. " Count my 
blessings and all that " 

" It would take you a long time to count 
them," said Mrs. Batiishill dryly. 

Camilla, pulling at a chain slung with 
diamonds, Sir Michael's last gift, looked up 
earnestly ; the fire-glow was vivid over her 
slimness and the gold and violet cushions 
behind her in the satin chair. 

" This is what frightens me," she said 
seriously. " I don't see what can happen.that 
hasn't happened before — one knows life so 
well, every turn of it ; one knows people, one 
knows places — it's awful, I know. Why 
should we crave for something fresh ? Yet 
we do,'' 

** She's not in love ! " thought Mrs. Battis- 
hilL " Poor Sir Michael ! " 

Aloud she said : - 

" It seems to me there is a novelty every 
day, in everything — from religions to choco- 
lates " 

" It's only the old flavours, the old dogmas 
turned about a bit," said Camilla quickly. 
*^ One is so tired of sampling — new religions 
and new chocolates ! " 

" I suppose," said Mrs. Battishill, " you 
don't know what you want ? " 

" Nothing, nothing. This is idle talk. I'rii 
tired, I think. Oh, I don't know ! I'm going 
down to Kitty Groves' to-night — and then— 
oh, I'm sick of London-^the Riviera, I think. 
I like to break up seasons ; the old round 
becomes like^a treadmill." 

She was to be married in the spring, and 
this was late autumn. Mrs. Battishill wond- 
ered if she looked on the future as a " tread- 

" Well, Camilla," she said, kissing her 
blooming cheeks, " keep up your courage — 
any day you may come upon something 
really new. There's the old tag, you 
know : ' There are more things in heaven 
and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in 
your philosophy.' You might find one of 
them yet ! " 

Camilla smiled, in rather a listless fashion. 

Kitty Groves had a queer little place in 
Sussex. She was there only for a few weeks 
in the year. It was near some rather famous 
golf-links, and the beautiful sea air was 
particularly soothing to Kitty's famous 
'* nerves." She had a few people with her 
now, all come either for the golf or their 
nerves, except Camilla Attwood, who was 

there with rather the air of an incognita 
princess, weary of homage and festival. 

She caused a certain amount of awe even 
among this choice gathering of witty, worldly 

Her beauty, her fame and her wealth made 
her delicately overwhelming. 

Wherever she went there was a slight 
atmosphere of withdrawal. 

Camilla was scarcely aware of this, she 
was so used to it. She felt lonely, and this 
gave a slight haughtiness to her accomplished 
manners. She tried to write a long letter 
to Sir Michael, then in Paris on some very 
portentous business,* but her efforts all dis- 
gusted her, and one by one were torn up 
and cast into her bedroom fire. 

" Of course she's too wonderful," sighed 
Kitty Groves. *' How Sir Michael ever had 
the courage " 

It was early October and a wet and windy 

From her window Camilla could see five 
miles across the marsh to the sea, when the 
scudding rain and wind-driven mist lifted. 
This blue line of ocean with the faint shapes 
of ships gave her a faint pang of home- 
sickness, an absurd feeling, she considered, 
since she had gazed unmoved on many fairer, 
more strange aspects of the ocean than the 
wistful homely view across the Sussex marsh. 

There came one perfect day that seemed 
washed in liquid gold. - There was a chill in 
the glorious air, but it was fresh and exqui- 
site ; the azure heavens were filled with 
swift clouds, full of colour, shot with sun- 
shine ; there were a few stinging showers, 
and in the afternoon a great rainbow. 

Kitty Groves' " cottage " was really an 
old Tudor farm-house most carefully and 
extensively '' restored " and fitted up like a 
luxurious little toy. 

On the close-shaven lawn to-day the 
wind-flung apples lay round and red, glisten- 
ing from the rain, and long yellow leaves 
from the cherry trees scattered over the still 
bright grass. 

Camilla stood on the wet brick path and 
watched the piled-up clouds that raced 
across the beautiful expanse of sky. 

And again something caught at the heart 
as it had when she looked at those dim 
distant sails. 

Kitty Groves had lamented " the horrible 
weather. ' ' Camilla somehow was rej oicing in 

The artless but costly garden ran down 
to the sloping pastures that ran down to the 
marsh and was divided from these by a 



mere hawthorn hedge now vivid with scarlet 

Several of Kitty's guests were wandering 
idly here looking at a new lead statue that 
had been set up in a lily pond ; they had 
just motored back from the links and were 
waiting for tea. 

A man came across the fields, leant over 
the hedge and spoke to them. 

"I've lost a sheep," he said. *' Have 
you seen a stray sheep ? " 

They told him, civil and slightly 
amused, that they had not. 
- Camilla heard the question- and the 
reply ; she lowered her gaze from the 
mighty clouds, and came slowly to- 
wards the hedge of thorn trees. 

She looked at the farmer, who 
lingered, as if at a loss, and she had 
the impression of a tall, heavy man, 

" Yes," answered the farmer. 

Camilla caught the flying end of her flame- 
coloured silk scarf; the wind was up and 
blowing in an exhilarating fashion. 

" I'm sorry," she said—she smiled in a 
deliberately dazzling fashion. " I suppose it 
has strayed— that is what sheep do, don't 
they ? " 

She felt that he ought to be absolutely 

" Camilla reflected a second, with white wrinkled brows. ' I suppose you want a new sensation,' 

remarked Mrs. Battishill." 

Ted, gold and brown, lit by the flecks of 
shifting sunlight and somehow the colour of 
the warm, rich marsh landscape. 

" You've lost a sheep ? " she asked, 
humouring him. 

She could not help it that she felt that 
she was conferring a vast favour on him by 
merely speaking to him, nor that her sweet- 
ness covered a boundless pride ; she was 
Camilla Attwood and used to her courtiers. 

amazed by her graciousness ; however con- 
descending queens may deign to be, they 
like to have the fact noticed. 

But this young man merely glanced at 
Camilla and away again in the most indiffer- 
ent fashion she had ever been fronted with. 

" I'm sorry to have disturbed you," he 
said. " I thought it might have wandered 
into your garden." 

He lifted his rough cap and turned away, 



The wind was blowing away from Camilla ; 
she loosened the flame-coloured wisp of silk ; 
it flew out of her hand and was hurled against 
his arm. 

He had to bring it back to her ; he was^n't 
a rustic j as she had noted. r 

As she took it frotn him she again smiled 

" I hope you'll find the sheep. How do you 
know you've lost one ? " she added with an 
infantile air of melting sweetness. 

Without the least flicker of a smile he 
replied : 

" I come every day and count them." 

*' Oh," said Camilla. 

She took in with her lovely practised 
glance his broad shoulders, deep chest and 
ted hands ; he was a new type to her. She 
had known athletes, sportsmen, nothing so 
tough and crude as this : yet he was, in the 
old much -abused term, " a gentleman." 

" I should like to help you find the sheep," 
said Camilla, who was used to having her 
lightest caprices not only indulged but taken 

Now the stranger did laugh, in the shortest, 
most vexatious fashion. 

" It would >. hardly a job for you," he 
answered, and lilted his cap again and turned 
away, the eager ragged blue sheep-dog at his 

Now Camilla prided herself, among many 
other things, on not being silly or effeminate 
or in any way the ** fluffy " type. 

Though she was neither athletic nor 
** mannish " in her tastes or pursuits, still 
she was a fine horsewoman, fencer, swimmer, 
and she had often deliberately undertaken 
adventures, camping out, roughing it, and 
so on, and she was most workmanlike in her 

Therefore the young man's obvious con- 
tempt was peculiarly annoying to Camilla. 

"As if I was a chorus girl in high heels 
and a satin frock," she thought indig- 

The wind blew fiercely in a mad race 
towards the sea ; the long yellow leaves were 
whirled off the cherry tree ; round and red 
and glistening the apples lay on the vivid 
wet green lawn. 

A big blue wain drawn by big brown horses 
and piled high with straw went by. 

There was a smell of burning weeds and 
a thin veil of bluish smoke tossed on the 
speeding wind. 

A few yet unfurled roses drooped on the 
bare bushes, sodden, brown at the tips, 
never to bloom now. 

Camilla went into the house and gloomed 
over her tea. 

The little house, so pretentiously " rustic," 
so carefully *' restored," ' so altogether 
" artistic " and " picturesque,", the ostenta- 
tious luxuries of service, food, and every 
possible modern device, seenied to her paltry^ 
Kitty Groves, she thought wearily, had 
always been the kind of fool to imitate other 

By the time tea was finished, the electric 
lights, disguised as lanterns, and candles were 
diffusing their becoming rosy glow. 

Camilla reflected on all the plans proposed 
for her amusement. 

She went upstairs, put on her warmest 
coat, her closest motoring cap, her stoutest 
brogues, watched her opportunity and 
quietly ran down the garden, opened the 
little gate in the thorn hedge and hastened 
across the field. 

It was raining now and nearly dark ; the 
wind blew intermittently. In the constant 
big rifts of the scudding clouds the mounting 
moon showed in the first quarter, sailing 
in a mist of x^allid silver stained with a faint 
red like old, washed-out blood. 

Camilla stood still a moment on the little 

She enjoyed the chill wind rushing past 
her, the sense of space, of immensity, the 
silence, the sting of the rain, the vast space 
of moving cloud above her, that dead light 
of the ancient moon. 

She walked on, down the field that sloped 
to the marsh. The pasture grass was thick 
and wet about her ankles ; she soon had to 
climb a fence that was surrounded with 
clay-like mud. 

Across another field more steeply sloping 
and then a belt of wood crossed her way. 

This was broken by a little stream, crossed 
by a few planks with a stile at either 

Camilla paused. 

She could smell the rather rank odours of 
the soaked undergrowth and rotting leaves, 
and hear the drip of the raindrops in the 
wood that had a steady ordered sound, like 
the prelude to stately music. 

Overhead a flight of rooks went past, 
cawing on their homeward way. 

Camilla could hear the noise of their 
wings. She climbed the stile, crossed the 
bridge, and by the other stile paused. 

In front of her was another open field, 
bordered all along the right side by the little 
wood, on the left rising up like a humped 
shoulder, clear against the cloudy heavens, 



and then running straight down to the sheer 
flatness of the marsh. 

Crossing this uplifted line of the field was 
the man of this afternoon's adventure — thus 
Camilla called those few words with the - 
farmer — an emotional adventure, she would 
have defined it, because of the type of the 
man, and his rudeness and the " queerness " 
of the whole little incident. 

And of course the queerest part of the 
whole thing was that she, Camilla Attwood, 
should have taken any interest at all in so 
absolutely trivial an affair. 

" Havct you found the lost sheep ? " she 

Her voice sounded clear and sweet in the 
lonely twilight. 

He turned quickly, amazed she was sure, 
and that he should be amazed, amused and 
pleased her. 

Yet he answered as if she had been a farm 
boy who was questioning him. 

" No — she must have got on the marsh," 
he said shortly. 

" Are you going on the malrsh ? " Her 
voice was blown to him. 

" Yes." 

" I'd like to come too.'* 

" You ! " 

She laughed, swaying with the wind that 
was buffeting her whole body towards the 

" Yes— I'm bored indoors. I've never 
been really on the marsh." 

She had crossed the cold wet field to where 
he stood, pausing, hesitant. 

Camilla was almost afraid that he was 
going to say something about long-defunct 

Would she have to remind the man that 
women did exactly as they liked nowadays ? 
And that such a woman as she was, always 
did as she liked in any age, and under any 
conditions ? 

But he gave her no opportunity of any 
such remarks. '' 

" All rightj come akng," he said. 

Camilla was swiftly elated. 

Here at least was something new in her 
experience — the man, the place, the time, 
all had a tang, a freshness, invaluable to 

Side by side the man and woman tramped 
down the field. 

It was quite queer enough to satisfy even 
Camilla Attwood's most wayward fancy, as 
marvellous to her as the loaf of home-made 
bread was to the king in the fairy-tale, who 
was gorged with rich dainties. 

Her companion seemed to accept her as 
a matter of course, with no sense of amaze, 
honour, or excitement. 

Never had she been taken quite so much 
for granted as by this casual stranger. 

She wondered if he had looked at her ; it 
was too dark now even if he had turned to 
look at her, which he did not. 

The wind was veering wildly ; the clouds 
were clotting closer over the stars ; the moon 
struggled through these high embanking 
vapours only occasionally. 

The dark was falling rapidly, closing in, it 
seemed to Camilla, shutting out earth and 
sky, isolating her with her companion. 

'* There's a gale coming up and it will 
soon be dark," he said. "You had really 
better go back." 

" I'm enjoying it," she answered, bent to 
the wind that now was rushing up from the 
sea. " I don't bother you, do I ? My name's 
Camilla Attwood." 

He did not show any interest in her 
famous name. She was rather piqued at 
that ; she had never known it not produce 
an effect before. There was piquancy in the 

" My name's George LorF ni — and if you 
don't mind not being conventional, it doesn't 
trouble me," he replied casually. 
Camilla pounced on his words, 
" My dear man," she said sweetly, '' where 
do you come from ? Do you really think 
that such a thing as conventionality exists 
any longer ? " 

" I believe in it — for women," he answered 

" How nice of you to be so rude," smiled 
Camilla. " It fits in with the novelty 
of the whole thing, I really believe I've 
shocked you. Isn't that delicious ? I've 
always lived with people you couldn't 

shock " 

" Yes ? " he said indifferently. 
They were nearly on the marsh now, and 
Camilla had a struggle to keep her feet. 
The wind was simply buffeting against the 
cliff ; the volume of the rain was increasing, 
and the icy slash of it against her face was 
blinding and deafening. 

Also she had already found that the 
garments that had seemed so trustworthy 
were not meant for this kind of work ; the 
gorgeous motor-coat was uncomfortably 
clinging and twisting, the wet was squelching 
in round the tops of her shoes, her skirts 
impeded her. She wished that she was in the 
breeches and leathern jerkin she had often 
worn as Rosalind, her favourite amateur 



actress part ; she maliciously wished her " I've never done the things that I really 

companion had seen her in that kit. ought to — on principle. You're refreshingly 

" The marsh is half under water," he said old-fashioned, aren't you ? " 

suddenly. " You had really better go back." 
" No," said Camilla. 
" You really ought to." 

/ She lightly 
climbed the last 
fence that divided 
^ them from the great 
stretch of marsh. 
" Where is the sheep 
likely to be ? " she asked 
in matter-of-fact tones. 
" It may have got into one of 
the dykes. I've been all over 
Hither Marsh and didn't find 

'' Is it valuable ? " 

*' Not in the least " 

" So this is pure huraani- 
tarianism ? " smiled Camilla. 

" I should call it doing one's 

They were tramping across 
the marsh towards the first 

*' Have you got a farm near 
here ? " asked Camilla. 
" Oh, a little place." 
'' You do all this sort of thing yourself 
always ? " 


" I do my job," he repeated, as if she 
amused him. " I suppose you never had 


Camilla paused, breathing hard from the 
struggling effort of her progress. 

" ' You can take me home, 
Michael,' she said. ' Good 
night, Mr. Lorimer. I hope 
the sheep will be all right.' " 

one J ' he added. 

" I have done every- 
thing there is to do!'' laughed 

" Have you ? " 

He was not to be drawn into 
as much as a glance at her. 
They were down on the marsh's lowest level 
now, battling against the wind and rain, 
their feet sinking into the spongy ground. 

Camilla's coat was torn, her skirts were 
draggled, her cap was becoming plastered to 
her head, hair and veil were twisted in wet 
strands behind her. 

"Listen," said the farmer brusquely. 

Through the bleak, stormy twilight came a 
faint distressful cry. 

This sound gave Camilla a sharp thrill ; 
without a word she trudged behind George 
Lorimer as he plunged forward in the direc- 
tion of the plaintive sound. 

When they reached the steep sides of the 
first dyke it was still light enough to see the 




dim white shape at the bottom, amid the 
harsh reeds, struggling piteously. 

Camilla stood at a loss ; she really did not 
know what to do to help, though she wanted 
to help more than she had ever wanted to do 

She made an instinctive plunge forward, 
but he put her back with a decision that 
showed his strength of wrist and himself 
scrambled down the wet bank. 

He got the sheep without much difficulty, 
but the animal was heavy, frightened and 
awkward, and there was one moment when 
it seemed likely to slip back again. Then 
Camilla had her chance ; she eagerly knelt 
down and clutched the wet wool and dragged 
at the struggling body, while the man heaved 
the creature up from below. 

When the sheep was at last pulled and 
pushed on to the bank, where it flung itself 
down, quivering with exhaustion, the two 
rescuers stood panting either side, with torn 
clothing, mud to the waist, dishevelled and 
violently buffeted by the great slaps of the 
icy north-easter. 

Camilla remembered Mrs. Battishill — 
*' There are more things ..." that lady had 
quoted — and Camilla now admitted that 
she was right. How undreamed of such a 
thing as this had been only yesterday ! 

Her whole being thrilled and tingled as it 
had never thrilled or tingled before — the 
wind, the -rain, the racing clouds overhead, 
the moon so* high above her, the vast lone- 
liness of sky and marsh, the sense of real 
fatigue and exertion, and at her feet the 
panting Jive thing she had helped to save 
from death . . . and, as it were, crowning 
and completing all, the presence of the man, 
engaged in man's work, conveying, in his 
indifferent simplicity, strength, resource and 

" I shall have to see you home now," 
remarked the farmer. 

" Do you mean me or the sheep ? " asked 

" Both of you." 

" I could find my way," said Camilla. 

" Could 


You've come farther 

than you know — the marsh is dangerous 

*' You've got to look after this poor beast 
first," she answered. 

He had already gently put the animal on 
its feet and felt its limbs carefully. 

"No bones broken — she'll do — good thing 
I found her before it got dark ; she would 
have been dead by the morning." 

Camilla meekly follov»^ed him, this time 

along the edge of the dyke. They went 
slowly, he driving the sheep, and by the time 
they had reached the road it was quite dark 
save for the fitful, pallid gleams "of the 

Mr. Lorimer began to talk now, quite 
cheerfully and indifferently, about common- 
place objects, and Camilla understood that 
he had been silent before not out of embar- 
rassment at her company, but because of 
anxiety about his lost animal. 

Camilla was still young enough to remem- 
ber fairy-tales vividly, and presently they 
came upon a cottage that at once reminded 
her of a fairy-tale. It stood back from the 
road by just the space of a little garden and 
the vague moonbeams showed the shape of 
it ; every window was uncurtained and 
glowed a yellow square of warm light. In 
one of the downstair rooms stood a table 
laid with a white cloth ; there were the 
hearty flicker of a great fire, the gleam of 
pots and pans on the walls, a clean old 
woman moving about, and the savoury smell 
of cooking floating into the wet night. The 
farmer opened a gate in the hedge near the 
house and turned the sheep in. 

" Is this your house ? " asked Camilla 

" Yes," 

" May I come in ? Do give me some 

He laughed. 

" I suppose it is like a new toy to you, 
Miss Attwood." 

His tone made Camilla say : 

" You do know who I am ? " 

" Oh yes." 

" Well — may I come in ? " 

"It is hardly worth while — it's such an 
awfully poor show. And Mrs. Martin would 
be " 

" — shocked ? " finished Camilla. 

" You'd like to see her — as a curiosity ? " 
he asked. 

Camilla, battling against the wind, made 
a sudden pause by the dripping gate and 
glossy privet hedge. 

" Please let me come in," she said. 

The big man answered with pleasant 
indifference : 

" I really think you've had the full flavour 
out of this adventure, Miss Attwood — it ends 

It was the first favour she had ever asked 
anyone and she had been refused ; her mind 
spun a little. She was about to reply, and 
without her usual poise, when they were 
both blinded by the white headlights of an 



oncoming car that was ripping out along 
the wet road ; the heavy throb of powerful 
engines rose above the storm. 

Camilla felt her arm clutched ; she was 
pulled aside as the car stopped with a groan 
of protesting brakes. 

The man driving stared into the pool of 
white light made by his own lamps. 

" I say, can you tell me the way ? " he 
began ; then his glance fell on the dishevelled 
muddy girl behind the dishevelled muddy 
man. " Camilla ! " he cried in sheer amaze. 

Camilla smiled wanly ; it was Sir Michael 

" You can take me home, Michael," she 
said. " Good night, Mr. Lorimer. I hope 
the sheep will be all right." 

Sir Michael sprang from his car, a slight 
figure in leather and goggles. 

" I got away sooner than I thought," he 
stammered. " I've driven up from Dover 
— crossed to-day — thought I'd look you up 
at Kitty's." 

Camilla stepped into the luxurious car. 
George Lorimer had already disappeared 
inside his own gate. She noticed a curtain 
being drawn over the window of the front 
room, shutting out the prospect of the cosy 
firelight and homely supper. 

She was wet, her teeth were chattering, 
the water was streaming down her face, her 
clothes were muddy and torn ; in her ears 
was the rush of the wind, before her eyes the 
moon swinging in the vast cloudy heavens — 
" There are more things ..." 

Lifting the speaking tube, she gave Sir 
Michael directions to Kitty Groves' toy 
house. When they reached it and he assisted 
her out, she looked at him as if he was a 
stranger ; he seemed somehow wizened and 
mean and paltry. 

And he on his side was plainly vexed and 

As they walked up the wet brick path he 
said : 

" I don't like escapades, Camilla. I 
always thought that so wonderful about you 
— you were so modern, but so — so " 

As he hesitated for a word, she supplied 

*' Safe ? — Conventional ? " 

She did not wait for his answer but ran 
upstairs and stripped off her wet coat and 
cap and laughed at herself in the mirror. 

It was really very late; she had been 
gone quite a long time. Sir Michael was 
perhaps justified at the anger he showed at 
her indifference to his rebukes as she sat, 
radiant and lovely, in Venetian blue chiffon, 

before the blazing log-fire in the little music- 
room discreetly abandoned to them. 

Camilla was not angry. She merely said : 

" I'm sorry, Michael." 

And her engagement ended with the 

The next morning when the storm was 
over and the sun shining into ruddy autumn 
clearness the great banker took his leave of 
Kitty Groves. Before he went he had another 
brief interview with Camilla. 

He informed her, not without the malice 
of a bitterly wounded man, of his private 
information of a financial disaster abroad 
that would involve nearly her whole fortune ; 
her father would remain a comparatively 
wealthy man, but she would be penniless. 

" That means, if you don't marry me, 
that you must give up everything you care 
for," he finished grimly. 

Camilla did not answer ; she looked 

" You've lost everything," he repeated 

angrily. " I came over to tell you " 

■ " That it didn't make any difference ? " 
smiled Camilla. "That's good of you, 
Michael— but " 

" You seem pleased," he frowned, puzzled. 

" I am," said Camilla. 

She stood still, smiling, while he continued 
to press on her the dreary recital of her mis- 
fortunes. He had always known these fan- 
tastic foreign investments of hers would go 
wrong ; a big concern had gone simply smash 
— of course " penniless " was a figure of 
speech — but doubtless she had debts, and 
her father had got her brothers to think 
of " 

" I wanted to break it to you myself," he 
finished, " but last night ■" 

" I made you angry," agreed Camilla. 

He faced her squarely. 

" Look here, Camilla, hadn't you better 
think it over a bit ? " 

She shook her head. 

" What has happened to you ? " he asked. 

" You couldn't guess, you couldn't under- 
stand," smiled Camilla. " You know, there 
are more things in heaven and earth . . ." 

A few minutes later Sir Michael's swift 
little car ripped away along the London 

Camilla put on her plainest cloak and went 
out to find the cottage of last night. 

The sun was unclouded, the thinnest, 
clearest gold overlaid the rich tinted land- 

The big man was in the cottage garden, 
tying up big heads of dahlias and Michaelmas 



daisies that last night's rain had blown 

" Good morning," said Camilla, leaning 
over the gate. " How is the sheep ? " 

He looked at her, standing with the sheaf 
of flowers in his hands. 

And then they both laughed. 

" Please, may I come in ? " said Camilla 
meekly. " I'm very good now. I've lost all 
my money and IVe sent away Sir Michael — 
and, please, I'm not quite spoilt. I can cook 
and sew and garden " 

" What do you wanf ? " he asked in a 
queer voice. 

They gazed at each other with dancing 

"You knew I'd come back," she said. 

" Yes — that was why I was tidying 
up " 

He came down the path and opened the 

" It is like a fairy-tale," whispered Camilla. 

" It is a fairy-tale," said the big man. 
" You darling ! " 


Tj^ROSTED leaf and silver berry, 
•*■ Rime upon the road, 
Man, and car, and river wherry 
With a crackling load ; 

Faint wind with a frosty feather, 

Echo In the ground, 

The milkman clapping his hands together 

In chilly gusts of sound ; 

Shimmering roof and sparkling steeple, 
Sunlight in white flames, 
Church stones telling the tale of people 
With loved remembered names ; 

Shining morn from frosty cover, 
Glamouring streets and marts ; 
And the church bells trying their music over 
With Christmas in their hearts. 






PUNCTUALLY at ten o'clock the next 
morning Eobert Heywood presented 
himself at the offices of " The 
Universal Service Bureau," Oxford Street. 

His thoughts, as he waited until the 
Principal could see him, will best be realised 
by the countless ex-service men who have 
been, or still are, without employment. 
Indeed he had been in a sort of dream ever 
since the momentous interview the day 
before, which had culminated in the Principal 
saying : n 

" Well, Mr. Heywood, if you will come 
back at ten o'clock to-morrow morning, it 
is possible I may be able to find something 
for you to do." 

Something to do! After four years' 
enforced idleness. After reaching a point 
when repeated refusals had brought him 
face to face with the bed-rock of his limita- 

So easy to say " anybody can get a job 
who wants one." Perhaps many could. 
But not a retired officer of the Regular Army 
aged thirty-three. No ; no one wanted him. 

Then Robert had seen that advertisement 
in The Times. He had read it through, 
rubbed his eyes, and read it through once 

" WANTED : bachelor of good social position ; must 
be fond of fox-hunting and williag to go anywhere; 
ex-officer regular cavalry preferred; apply in person." 

Snatching up his hat, he had dashed round 
to Oxford Street, to the address given, and 
the interview followed that resulted in his 
being told to come back the following day. 

That interview still puzzled him. The 
Principal of the Universal Service Bureau 
was a woman of about thirty-five, good- 
looking, but so brisk and business-like he 
had had no time to study properly the details 
of her appearance. 

" Where were you educated ? " she had 

" Winchester and Sandhurst." 

" What Regiment ? " 

" Queens' Own Lancers." 

" Why did you leave ? " 

" Regiment disbanded under new establish- 

" Have you done much hunting \ " 

" A bit." 

" What packs ? " 

" Quorn, Pytchley, Bel voir, Whaddon, 

" Recently ? " (Question put sharply.) 

" No, not since the war ; couldn't afford 

Robert's heart went down into his boots 
as he made this admission. 

" That won't matter ; now if you will 
come back at ten o'clock to-morrow it is 
possible I may be able to find something 
for you to do." 

Such had bebn the interview. Now he was 
in the waiting-room of the Universal Service 

He was still wondering what it could all be 
about when a girl was shown into the waiting- 

She was a brunette, quietly but expen- 
sively dressed. But it was not her creamy 




olive complexion, nor the slim rounded legs 
of which her short-cut costume gave a 
generous view, nor her bewitching little hat, 
that impressed themselves upon Robert's 
vision. No, it was the look he saw in her 
eyes, as they rested for a fraction of a second 
upon his. They were not reposeful eyes at 
all ; they were large and dark and dancing as 
though the playground of a thousand imps. 
'* I wonder what she is doing in here ? " 
thought Robert ; " she can't be like me — 
looking for a job." 

" Sit down, please," she told Robert, who 
was standing fidgeting his feet. " I have 
taken up your references." 

" My references ! " 

Robert remembered for the first time that 
he had given no references at all, nor been 
asked for any. 

" Yes — your public school, Sandhurst 
career, and Regiment," said the Principal 
shortly. " We find them quite satisfactory. 
The only point I have no means of ascertain- 
ing is whether you can still be absolutely 

'They just got over and Robert looked quickly round, full of misgivings for Nadina." 

Then a clerk came up and said to him : 
" The Principal will see you now." 
Robert looked at the pretty girl and saw 
her glance at her wrist-watch. 

" If you are in a hurry " he said, 

standing aside from the door. 
" I am een no hurree, M'sieur." 
*' By Jove ! she's French ! " thought Robert, 
then, as he saw the clerk's eyes fixed upon 
him, hurried through the door. 

The Principal of the Universal Service 
Bureau was even more brisk and business- 
like than she had been previously. 

trusted. We shall have to chance it." 

" I don't steal as a rule " ; Robert smiled 

" That wouldn't matter so much ; it is 
more important than that." 

" And I'd hate to have to kill anyone." 
" You won't be asked to, so far as I know. 
However, to come down to facts : The 
Universal Service Bureau was created with 
the idea of founding an agency that could 
put at the disposal of its clients any form 
of personal service they might require. We 
have on our books art connoisseurs, tango 



dancers, golf and tennis players, bridge 
experts, entertaining talkers, masseurs, 
motor mechanics. In short, anyone needing 
any form of personal service has only to 
apply to us. 

" A day or two ago we had an inquiry of 
a rather unusual nature. A young lady 
has come to England without the knowledge 
of her parents. In her country the upper 
classes take a great interest in horses and 
all ride themselves. It seems she has heard 
a lot about English fox-hunting as being 
one of the finest sports in the world and 

hunting field, the consequences will be very 

"Well, one can't find an invisible 

The Principal looked at him sharply. 

" An invisible horse will not be necessary. 
I understand it is not an unusual thing for 
two strangers to arrive at a meet and take 
part in the sport that follows. They can 
do this and leave at the end of the day 
without attracting special comment. What 
this young lady requires is an escort for this 
purpose, as, being a stranger in the country, 

" She took the toss all right, and a good one too, but kept the reins." 

has made up her mind to see what it is 

" Well, that should be quite easy." 

" There are reasons why it is not." The 

Principal of the Universal Service Bureau 

looked at Robert so intently, that he began 

to feel the first tingling of a thrill in what 

had hitherto seemed a quite commonplace 

affair. " However, the conditions under 

which you will be employed do not permit 

of my explaining those reasons to you." 

" I get my money and ask no questions." 

*' Exactly," said the Principal. " I will 

tell you only this — if it is found out that this 

young lady has come to England without 

her parents' knowledge and has been seen 

in such public circumstances as the English 

she obviously cannot go alone — but an escort 
that will confine himself absolutely to the 
task of showing her the sport she wishes to 

" All right, if she wants to see a hunt, 
I'll try and show her one." Robert spoke 
rather shortly himself, for it seemed to him 
that a good deal of fuss was being made about 

The Principal of the Universal Service 
Bureau touched a bell on her desk. 

" Very well, I will present you to our client. 
Your remuneration will be fifty pounds a 
day and expenses." 

" Oh, I say ! " 

" That is our client's wish." 

A minute or two later Robert found himself 



face to face with the pretty girl who had 
come into the waiting-room. 

The Principal bowed to the girl gravely. 

" This is the gentleman we have found 
for you. I will leave you now to discuss 
your project with him." 

The girl got down to business at once. 
Clasping her hands in front of her with a 
delightful little impetuous gesture, she came 
up to Robert. 

" Oh, M'sieur, I want so very much to see 
an English fox-hunt. You can arrange for 
me — yes ? " 

Her eyes, in which those myriad imps of 
mischief danced, were really devastating. 
Robert could well believe the story now that 
she had come over to England without her 
parents' knowledge. He longed to tell her 
how he admired her spirit and to ask how 
she had managed to get away. He forced 
himself to be business-like with an effort. 

A few questions as to her previous experi- 
ence of riding to guide him in choosing her 
horses ; assurances that she possessed proper 
kit ; some information as to time available ; 
and he began to form plans. 

" There are good meets to-morrow and 
Friday that can be reached by train," he 
said, looking at the paper. " I can wire to 
a man I know to have horses ready for us. 
Shall we say Friday ? " 

" No — to-morrow." 

" Very well, to-morrow ; train leaves 
Euston 8 a.m. I will call for you at — • 

say " Robert wondered where she was 


" No. I will go to the station. You tell 
me the platform number. I'll be there." 

" She is business-like, anyway," thought 
Robert. He told her the platform number. 

She was about to go, when he said : *' Oh, 
by the way, my name is Heywood, Robert 
Hey wood." 

She turned : " You can call me Nadina — 
the rest — it does not matter." 

" Not a bit," said Robert with an enthu- 
siasm that died dow^n like a damped furnace 
as he saw the Principal of the UniversaL 
Service Bureau standing in the door. 

They were in the restaurant car of the 
train bearing them to the grass-lands of the 
Midlands at sixty miles an hour. 

Robert, attacking with relish a dish of 
kidneys and bacon, observed that Nadina's 
plate was bare except for a piece of dry toast 
which she was breaking and dipping in her 

" That will never do." He beckoned a 

waiter. " Bring this lady some porridge, 
poached eggs, and a slice of ham," he 

" But " Nadina protested. 

'* A good breakfast is the foundation of a 
good day," said Robert ; " none of your 
Continental breakfasts here : you can't hunt 
on coffee and rolls. Why, do you know, 
before you get your next square meal you 
may have ridden forty miles." 

Now that he had had more opportunity 
of studying her, Robert decided Nadina was 
not French. She might be Italian or she 
might be Spanish. He wished he could ask 
her all about herself outright. But this was 
forbidden ; under the terms of his employ- 
ment he was pledged to ask no questions. 

She saw him looking at her and smiled 

" My clothes — they are all right ? " 

''Yes, rather!" 

'' Your stock isn't quite the way we tie 
them here " — Robert touched his own per- 
fectly tied stock. 

" Ah, my cravate ! " She put her hand 
to her throat. " It have given me so much 
trouble ; many times I try to tie it and 
always it is no good." 

" They are tricky things to manage ; if 
you like I will try and fix it for you after 

When they got to their reserved compart- 
ment Robert offered to fulfil his promise to 
rearrange her stock. 

'' Thank you." She came and stood 
opposite to him, tilted her chin and looked 
up into his face. Though the expression in 
her dark eyes was by no means cold, she 
was perfectly composed. She looked him in 
the eyes and without the least embarrass- 

From the first Robert had been conscious 
that whatever risks she might be running 
through indulging in this escapade, the fact 
of finding herself alone with him did not 
embarrass her at all. Though friendly, she 
treated him exactly as she would have 
treated any other servant she had hired 
for her service — a chauffeur, footman, or 

' ' No, I can't tie it that way. I shall have 
to tie it as though I was tying it on myself. 
Look, turn round and we'll get in front 
of the glass." 

He stood her in front of him, so that they 
both faced the looking-glass, put his arms 
over her shoulders, and began to rearrange 
the stock. The train gave a jolt, she swayed 
back against him, and his arms went round 



her closely. With an effort he refrained 
from kissing her, 

" There, that's better," he said whep the 
stock was. re-tied. " Do you mind if I 
smoke ? " 

'' No, I will smoke myself.'* 
They sat back in their corners and as they 
smoked, Robert outlined his plan for the 
day. " We get out at Rudleigh, where we 
shall find the horses waiting for us, and then 
we shall have about a mile to ride on to the 
meet. Hounds ought to finish somewhere 
within reach of Rudleigh this evening. Well 
get back then, change, have tea and catch 
the six-o'clock train back to London. Now, 
when we get to the meet, the best thing for 
you to do is to keep close by me, and if 
hounds run, just follow where I go ; don't 
try to take a line of your own or you'll 
only get into difficulties." 

Nadina listened attentively and nodded. 
Robert had made arrangements as care- 
fully as the short time at his disposal per- 
mitted. The man he had wired for horses 
was a dealer whom he knew he could trust. 
He had told the latter to send something 
that was a good performer but easy to 
handle for Nadina, and, for himself, an 
animal that would be sure to give him a good 

They found waiting for them a big grey 
horse and a nice handy-looking little chestnut 
mare. Having seen to Nadina, Robert 
settled himself in the saddle with every 
feeling of satisfaction. It was good to have 
a horse between his knees once more and to 
be jogging along the grassy side of a road on 
a soft grey English winter's day. 

" There they are," he said, as they rounded 
a bend and hounds came into view. 

Nadina looked, her eyes wide with excite- 
ment, and Robert, watching her, remembered 
the wonderful thrill he had had in the long 
ago when for the first time he had been 
allowed to ride his pony to a meet of hounds. 
" Now, don't forget ; keep close by me." 
Being within reach of London, the pack 
often attracted strangers and the pair 
excited no special curiosity, though several 
men glanced more than once at the slim 
dark-eyed girl on the little chestnut mare. 
After a few minutes hounds moved off to 
draw. While they waited among the expect- 
ant group at covert side, Robert explained 
what was afoot. 

" They are looking for a fox. We shah 
know in a minute or two if there is one in 
there. Listen ! Did you hear that hound 
speak?" He stopped, listening intently. 

Nadina also listened and, as the hound spoke 
again, she felt a queer little tingle of excite- 
ment run right through her. 

Then she felt Robert's hand on her arm 
in a quick, firm pressure. He raised his 
whip and pointed and she saw a little red- 
brown shape slinking along a hedgerow. 
Presently, a hound came from the wood 
feathered, and hit the line, to be immediately 
followed by another and then another. A 
little man in a pink coat and velvet caj) 
came galloping up at a great rate, blowing 
on a horn, his cheeks purple with exertion. 
That first sight of the fox, now lost to 
view, the sound of the horn, and the music 
of hounds in full cry, were as meat and drink 
to Robert Heywood, who for a brief instant 
forgot everything except that hounds were 

Next moment as he cleared a cut and laid 
fence he remembered his duties and looked 
round to see Nadina sailing over on the 
chestnut mare as to the manner born. 

" She can ride all right," he thought with 

For ten minutes they both needed to ride, 
for the pace was terrific. As had always 
been his way, Robert took his own line, and 
having a good eye for country, kept hounds 
well in view. In fact, they had only one 
man in front of them— a farmer, who was 
riding still wider to the right. 

Robert suddenly saw this fellow come down 
at the fence he and Nadina were approaching. 
Thinking quickly, he decided there was 
probably more on the far side than at first 
appeared, so catching the grey firmly by 
the head he sent him at the fence fast. As 
well he did, for in mid-air he found himself 
spanning a real yawner and could feel the 
grey almost stretching in the air as it were 
beneath him to make the other side. 

They just got over and Robert looked 
quickly round, full of misgivings for 

"I'm afraid this is where >ou are going 
to take a toss, my dear," he thought, blaming 
himself, for he should never have led her 
over such an obstacle. 

She took the toss all right, and a good one 
too, but kept the reins and was up in an 

" I'm sorry," Robert apologised as he 
helped her mount. "I shouldn't have 
brought you over a place like that. I'd no 
idea it was so big. ^Anyway, we have got 
hounds to ourselves." 

Two or three had got over, but at least 
four others were in the ditch and the 



remainder, voting it a nasty place, by com- 
mon consent turned aside. 

Never was adage more surely proved that 
it is better to fall on the right side of a fence 
than not jump it at all. For those that 
wouldn't take that yawner never saw hounds 
again that day, and those that did, found 
themselves in for the hunt of a lifetime. 

and determination that warmed Robert's 
heart. But as the time passed he grew 
less and less conscious of her proximity 
and more intent on the work in hand, im- 
bued — like the true fox-hunter that he was 
—with grim determination to see things to 
the end. 
. The day was already drawing in when they 

" Suddenly he felt her fingers 

tighten, and looking at her 

saw she was staring along 

the corridor." 

Hounds ran from 11.30 until 3 p.m., 
happily for those who would live with them, 
not all the time at the same pace. But it 
was a hunt that only a good horse could have 
seen the end of. 

Throughout Nadina rode with a boldness 

came to the fence where Nadina had her 
second fall — quite an ordinary little stake 
and bound fence, but she rode the chestnut 
mare at it with too loose a rein, and over she 
came, head over heels. 

*' I say, are you sure you are all right I " 



Robert asked as he helped Nadina mount but, remembering vaguely his responsibili- 

again. ties, said : 

*' Quite, thanks," she answered. " I say, would you rather stop ? " 

" We ought to see it out now, I think, " Of course not." 

don't you ? " There was a gap in the next fence which 

" Rather." She gathered her reins, was set on a bank. Robert made for the 

* Ha ! ' exclaimed Lord Warboote, seeing the pair, * disturbed a young covey, eh ! ^^ Sorry, but I've just brought 
the Marquis of Fiume along to show him my Tintoretto.' " 

Robert was so intent on seeing the hunt 
out that he did not notice how white Nadina 
was. However, he resolved to be careful not 
to lead her over any nasty place. 

Another small stake and bound lay ahead 
which the grey took easily, but once more 
Nadina on the chestnut mare came down. 

" The mare's tired ; you want to ride her 
at her fences firmly now," said Robert. 

" All right, I will." 

Again he did not see that very slight 
trembling of the lower lip as she answered, 

gap, the horses must be spared now as much 
as possible. On the far side it was necessary 
to jump from the top of the bank into the 
field— a jump any pony could easily have 
done. He turned back and saw Nadina 
stationary on the top of the bank. 

" Come along," he called. " Use your 
whip." Nadina gave the little mare a rap ; 
the mare jumped, landed, -and fell— but this 
time did not get up again. She just lay 
as she had fallen on her side. Nadina got 
to her feet unhurt. 



Quick as lightning Robert was on his knees 
beside the mare, chafing her ears. But she 
lay there motionless except for her heaving 
flanks. She had given of her best and now 
was done. 

Then he heard something move behind 
and turning round saw that it was now 
Nadina that had sunk to the ground. Leav- 
ing the mare he put his arm round her. 

" Are you hurt 1 " 

She shook her head. " I am sorry. 
I would have.gone on as long as she could." 
Nadina pointed to the- mare. 

A wave of remorse swept over Robert. 
What a brute he had been. Carried away 
by the excitement of the hunt he had let 
this child, who had never hunted before, 
go on till her horse dropped under her. 

Her little face was white as a sheet except 
for where the mark of a thorn-scratch showed ; 
her clothes were plastered with mud ; her 
hat was dented nearly double. 

He put his arm round her more closely. 

" Nadina, I'm sorry. I've been a pig." 

" N-no you haven't. I — I wanted to see 
a h-hunt and you've shown me one.*' 

They waited till the mare had got her wind 
again, then Robert changed saddles, and, 
putting Nadina on the grey, led the mare 
and walked beside her. Darkness was 
gathering fast, he had not the remotest idea 
where they were ; but it was fairly evident 
they would not get back to Rudleigh by six. 

What to do ? That was the problem. 
Here was this girl entrusted to his charge 
and now they were stranded in the country- 
side for the night. Well, anyway, they must 
find a roof of some sort. Thank goodness 
there were lights showing ahead. 

They came out on to a road and after 
following this for a little way reached the 
source of the lights. These proved to be 
the lodge gates at the foot of a drive evidently 
leading up to a big house. Robert roused 
the lodge-keeper. 

" Who lives here ? " he asked. 

" Lord Warboote." 

The name conveyed nothing to Robert. 

" Is his lordship at home ? " 

The man replied that this was the case. 

" Well," said Robert to Nadina, '* I think 
the best thing we can do is to go and take 
tea with him then ; the sooner that little 
mare gets some gruel the better." 

Nadina nodded. She had not spoken 
since they started off ; she was too tired to 

Lord Warboote proved a mighty hospit- 

able fellow. He came to the hall himself 
as soon as Robert had sent in an account of 
their plight by the butler. 

" Ha ! Stranded fox-hunters ! and a lady 
too. Come in ; come in ; glad to see ye ; 
never mind them 'osses ; my man 'ull take 
them round and see they get their vittles." 
To the butler : " Get some eggs and 'am, 
lots of it — bring the 'am in." 

Bustling them along the hall past a whole 
regiment of knights in armour, Lord War- 
boote brought the couple up to a big open 
fireplace around which several young people 
were already at tea. A pretty girl, the 
daughter of the house, took charge of Nadina 
and the wanderers were soon made to feel 
at home. 

"London!" said Lord Warboote later, 
'' No, ye'll never get to London to-night ; 
you stay here, my dears — like old Jorrocks 
— where you dines you sleeps — we'll fix you 
up with some togs." 

" If this doesn't lick creation," thought 
Robert later as he soaked luxuriously in a 
boiling bath. "I must find out her real 
name though ; everybody thinks arriving 
like this that we are either engaged or child- 
hood friends ; besides, they will want to 
know who she is." 

By good fortune he managed to intercept 
Nadina on the stairs as they were going 
down to dinner and explained the situation 
to her. 

" I don't want to butt into your affairs, but 
I can't just introduce you to everyone as 
Nadina," he explained. 

She realised the difficulty and stood a 
moment thinking. 

" You can tell them my name is d'Alenca," 
she said. 

" Right. I say, are you feeling O.K. 
again ? I am awfully sorry I gave you such 
a shaking up." 

He thought she still looked rather pale 
but mighty pretty in the frock the daughter 
of the house had lent her. 

There was evidently a large party staying 
in the house, for twenty people sat down to 
dinner, but none whom Robert had ever 
seen before, which was a good thing, he 
reflected, as it saved him having to answer 
questions about Nadina, which would have 
been showered upon him had he run into 
any of his friends. 

When the ladies left, Lord Warboote 
beckoned Robert to sit next to him. 

'* I expect you young folks will want to 
get busy with your dancing," said his lord- 
ship, passing the port. " There'll be a batch 



coming over from the Abbey presently — 
Whetlock Abbey, you know — Lord Dun- 
shire's 'ouse." 

" Oh yes," said Eobert, who of course 
knew of Whetlock Abbey, the beautiful home 
of one of England's Cabinet Ministers. 

" Dunshire has got the Marquis of Fiume 
staying there. Maybe he'll bring him along. 
Very interesting man, the Marquis ; they 
say he 'ad more to do with the signing of 
the Peace Treaty than any other man in 
Europe. Ever met him ? " 

Robert had not, though he knew the 
Marquis of Fiume by name of course as 
ambassador in London of an important 
European power. 

The young people had been dancing for 
an hour, and for fully half of this time Robert 
had had Nadina as his partner. She danced 
divinely and for Robert life was rapidly be- 
coming a dream, in which a little soft hand 
that clung warmly to his and a pair of dark 
eyes alight with the joy of life, played prin- 
cipal part. 

" By Jove ! She is a crashing girl,'' he 
kept on saying to himself as he thought of 
the way she had ridden to hounds that day 
and her soft charm now in her filmy evening 
frock. " You don't find her sort like pebbles 
on the beach, by George 1 No." 

He wished — oh, he wished a lot of things 
that he could not express. It was when they 
had gone to smoke a cigarette in the long 
gallery that a bursting need to say something 
at any cost got the better of his inarticulate- 

" Nadina " — he put his hand over hers. 

She turned her eyes full on him and once 
again he saw that look in them. that had 
puzzled him in the train. It was not that 
she looked at him coldly — far from that— 
but she was so utterly .sure of herself, so 
self-possessed, so untouched by any air of 
shyness — although she must know that in a 
moment he was going to try to take her in 
his arms. 

Robert Heywood was, as a rule, no more 
backward than any other young cavalry 
officer where the ladies were concerned. 
But instead of throwing his arms round her 
— as he had intended — and drawing her to 
him, he checked himself, lifted her slim hand 
and kissed her fingers. 

" Nadina, if there is ever anything I can 
do for you, just tell me." 

" Thank you." She took his offer with 
a simple graciousness as though it was just 
what she had expected. 

Suddenly, at the end of the gallery, they 
heard Lord Warboote's deep voice. 
" Where's that blinkin' light ? " 
A click ! and the gallery was flooded with 
a chain of lights. 

Robert still held Nadina's hand. Sud- 
denly he felt her fingers tighten, and looking 
at her saw she was staring along the corridor 
at Lord Warboote, who was approaching 
with a dark distinguished-looking man wear- 
ing a short black beard. 

'' Ha 1 " exclaimed Lord Warboote, seeing 
the pair, '* disturbed a young covey, eh ! 
Sorry, but I've just brought the Marquis of 
Fiume along to show him my Tintoretto." 

Robert was going to get up to greet the 
famous foreign ambassador, when he felt 
Nadina tug at him. 

" This way," she whispered, and started 
off along the corridor in the opposite direc- 
tion to their host. 

Puzzled but obedient, Robert followed her. 
She walked fast, indeed they were almost 
running when they reached the stairs. 

Down in the hall she stopped and turned. 
To his amazement, Robert saw that she was 
quite white ; indeed she looked as shaken 
as after that last fall out hunting. 
- " You said," she spoke in a quick under- 
tone, " that if ever you could do me a service 
you would. Get me out of this house — now 
— at once, do you understand ? " 

"But, my dear, it's the middle of the 
night." Robert stared at her amazed. 

" Get me out of this house." 

This time it was a command rather than 
a request. Moreover, she spoke as one used 
to being obeyed. 

They were standing just by the hall door. 
Robert looked quickly round him. A pile 
of wraps lay on an oak chest. He snatched 
up the nearest coat to him. 

" Put this on, then "—he held out the 

Then he opened the front door, let Nadina 
out, and closed the door behind them. 

" Well, you are outside ; what do 3^011 
want to do now ?" he said as they stood 
on the front steps. 

" Go back to London— now—this minute." 

Robert stared at her ; for a moment he 
thought she had become unbalanced. But 
there was no sign of mental weakness about 
Nadina. She evidently knew very well what 
she wanted. 

A big car stood outside the door. She 
pointed to it. " Let's get into that. Can 
vou drive ? If not, I will." 


Yes, I can drive," said Robert, looking 



at the car and observing that the chaufieur 
had left it unattended, " but " 

Nadina did not listen. She hurried him 
towards the car. 

" I shall get two years for doing this, you 
know," he said as he let in the clutch ; " one 
can't go about the country taking other 
people's cars." 

" You can take it back afterwards." 

" After what ? " 

" After you have taken me to Victoria. 
There's a boat train leaves at nine for Paris. 
I'm going to catch that train. That man — 
that Marquis of Fiume — he know me — he 
know my father. I must get back to Paris 
before they find that I have left." 

Eobert remembered that the Principal of 
the Universal Service Bureau had told him 
she had come over from Paris without her 
parents' knowledge. He also remembered 
he had been told to ask no questions. 
However, there could be no harm in just 
showing an ordinary sporting interest in her 

" How did you manage to get away ? " 
he asked. 

" I have a lady with me — a companion. 
She is — how you say — bon type, good 
fellow — she tell people I am not well and 
stay in my room — but the police — it was 
they that were difficult — for they watch me 
all the time." 

'* Look here ! " — Kobert took his foot ofi 
the accelerator — " what have you been up 
to ? I'm blessed if I am going to be mixed 
up in any police business." 

Nadina laughed : " It is all right, I have 
not stolen anything ; you just drive me to 
Victoria Station as I ask you to ; but first 
I go to my hotel. I must get my things and 
there is the girl's frock, she lend me, for 
you to take back to her, and the car ; do 
not forget that." 

" You are leaving me a nice little mess to 
clean up," said Eobert. However, he did 
as he was told. 

She would not let him come to the hotel, 
but said he might be at the station to see her 

" She certainly has wonderful vitality," 
Robert thought as two minutes before the 
train left he stood on the platform by the 
window of her carriage. 

Nadina had changed into a neat travelling- 
costume and looked as fresh as if she had 
spent the night in bed. 

Robert felt a queer sense of depression. 
Though actually he hardly knew her, in the 
few hours they had been together she had 

left her mark on him. It was not only that 
she was pretty ; she was so sporting. Of 
course, for a fellow like him with no money 
and no job, it must be a case of " good-bye." 
There was nothing else he could say to her. 

A guard bustled down the platform telling 
people to get into their carriages as the train 
was going to start. 

" If you ever come over to hunt again," 
said Robert, " I hope you'll give me the 
job of piloting you, although I did give you 
such a rough ride." 

" Ah ! " exclaimed Nadina, " but that is 
terrible of me." 

" What ? " 

" I have never paid the office the money 
for you. I will send it." 

Robert caught her hand : 

" Do you know I'd very much rather you 
didn't. I'd like to keep that hunt as a sort 
of outing we had together — as a souvenir 
of a wonderful girl." He spoke a little 
wistfully, for already some instinct told him 
he was never going to see this mysterious, 
adorable girl again. 

" A souvenir ! " 

She withdrew into the compartment. 
When she came back she held a small tissue 
package in her hand. 

The shriek of a whistle — a jerk — and the 
train started. 

" There is a little souvenir," she pressed 
the package into Robert's hand, " and when 
you look at it, think sometimes of Nadina." 

She kissed her hand. 

Robert stood looking after those dark, 
adventure-loving eyes till the train carried 
her from sight, then went back with his 
souvenir to his rooms. 

Three months later Robert — who had now 
regular work with the Universal Service 
Bureau as consultant for American and 
foreign visitors wishing to obtain syndicate 
shoots and other sporting facilities in England 
— opened his morning paper to read in large 
head-lines : 


Particulars about the Princess Nadina of 
Alenca followed. She was to marry the 
Crown Prince of a neighbouring country. 
The arrangement was considered to be a very 
happy one, as both young people were 
devoted to outdoor life, Princess Nadina in 
particular being renowned as a dashing 
horsewoman who would go anywhere in 
search of sport ; it was even hinted that 



some of her unconventional escapades had 
at times caused her parents anxiety. 

Robert laid down the paper and opened 
an old leather despatch-case, in which he 
kept his medals, some trinkets that had 
belonged to his mother, and other treasures. 
He took out a paper package, and unwrapped 

a piece of jewellery — a diamond and sapphire 
crown with the letter " N " inset. For 
months he had cherished this souvenir, for 
months he had known Nadina's real identity. 
" She's a good girl that," he thought to 
himself. " I wonder if it would be awful 
cheek to send her a wedding present." 


THEY'VE widened all the roads round 'ere. One that was just a country lane 
Is now a foine broad stretch ; but there ! 'twill never seem the same again ; 
I know 'tis better as it is, an' saafer too, but don't yer see 
That when they widened this 'ere road, they cut down every single tree ? 

Now there was one tree that I loved ; its root was like an old armchair, 
It seemed just made for me ter sit an' watch the people passin' there, 
An' folks would sometimes stop an' chat, an' sit beside me on the grass, 
An' tell me little bits o' news, which use' ter help the time ter pass. 

I was a rale 'ardworkin' man, 'till I was seventy or so, 

But now that I've got naught ter do, the hours do pass so dreadful slow ; 

An' since there's nowhere left to sit, the folks won't stand^nd talk, you know, 

The new fence can't be lean'd ag'enst, 'tis one that waggles to and fro. 

Ah, yes, it is a grand new road !~-a credit to our little town ; 

The motorists looks mighty pleased when they be passin' up and down. 

An' I be proud of it, o' course, an' praises it with might an' main. 

But When I shuts my eyes I sees =-the narrow, shady, countryman. ^^^^^^^^ 



Author of " Dwellers in the Jungle,^' " Life in an Indian Outpost^'' etc. 

ON the narrow bamboo platform lifted 
high on its four spidery posts out 
of the field of green, growing crops 
lay a huddled bundle of rags. It stirred 
uneasily when, as the dawn whitened the 
sky, from a similar platform in the next 
field came a cry ; and at a louder call it 
heaved up and from under a torn and dirty 
blanket the tousled head of a young Hindu 
boy poked out. He blinked and yawned 
and, as the light grew stronger and the shouts 
from the more wakeful watchers of the 
cultivation around rang louder, he sat up 
reluctantly and looked about him. The 
blades of the growing grain agitated wildly 
in one corner of his field, although there was 
no breath of air to stir them, caught his eye ; 
and he sprang to his feet, shrieked as shrilly 
as his neighbours and from a sling sent 
several hard clay balls hurtling into the 
waving green. 

Then out of the cover wherein they had 
been feasting royally burst five or six squat, 
dark-hided animals which, with the stiff 
action of nursery rocking-horses, bounded 
off on short legs over the stubbly yellow 
grass of a stretch of untilled land. It was 
a sounder, thdt is, a family group of wild 
pigs, which had come down in the night 
from the low rocky hill to which they were 
now retreating, to steal the scanty crops of 
the poor cultivators who tilled the stony soil 
around the Central Indian village becoming 
visible as the pale sky turned to rose at the 
coming of the sun. 

To the wild chorus of the night-watchers 
the little band of thioves disappeared in the 
scattered thorny scrub, came into view again 
in an open stretch, were hidden once more 
and then were visible climbing up among 

the black boulders on the steep side of the 
hill. At their head lumbered a stout old 
grey boar, well over three feet at the 
shoulder, long sharp tusks curving up from 
his jaws to his wicked little eyes. Behind 
him came two or three heavy old sows, a 
young one light and active, and a male not 
half grown toiling wearily behind its elderb, 
its young strength nearly exhausted. 

In and out among the big rocks on the 
hill-side they went, the leader setting a 
slower pace to enable the tired youngster 
to catch up with the rest. There was no 
need to hurry now ; for the unarmed 
peasants could not pursue or harm these 
robbers of their fields and were forced to be 
content with driving them away. And so 
at their leisure the whole sounder returned 
to their fastness on the stony hill, where 
they were greeted by the rest of their 
family group, nursing-mothers with their 
offspring, quaint piglets of a dirty, whitish- 
brown colour ; while from other directions 
other parties, coming back from undisturbed 
raids on other fields, climbed up at their 

On this hill-top there was a small colony 
of these wild boars and their families. 
Down in the villages of the plain below their 
domesticated cousins lived in squalor, 
rooted in garbage and, mixed up with the 
mangy pariah-dogs, lay about the dirty 
lanes, ugly, misshapen, diseased, an offence 
to nose and eye. Far different the wild 
pigs, clean feeders, nimble, leading an active, 
healthy liie, real socialists in their little 
communities where each helped the other, 
rendering loyal obedience to their chosen 
chiefs who led them wisely and guarded 
them against their foes. True knights these 




boars, knights of the wild, fearless pro- 
tectors of the females and the young, 
always ready to place their sturdy bodies 
between them and danger. 

From their eyrie among the boulders they 
could look over a wide panorama of varied 
country. Long, flat-topped hills with pre- 
cipitous sides, others conical as sugar-loaves, 
still others sloping gently down to the level, 
to the plains that were here flat stretches of 
poor soil with outcropping rock or else close 
covered with loose stones, there seamed 
with winding nullahs — steep-banked, deep 

cultivators, under a burning sun or in the 
drenching tropical rain, to till their fields 
of maize or sugar-cane, breaking the stony 
soil with wooden ploughs dragged by patient, 
humpbacked little bullocks, scattering by 
hand the seed loaned them at extortionate 
interest by flinty-hearted usurers, starving 
themselves and their children to bribe the 
Brahmin priest in the whitewashed temple 
to intercede with the Gods to send a generous 
rainy season, and, when harvest-time came, 
reaping the scanty crops with sickles handed 
down to them by their fathers' fathers. 

** Once a panther almost 
caught him as he was stray- 
ing from the family circle ; 
but a deep grunt warned the 
spotted robber off just in 
time ; and it stole noise- 
lessly on cat-like paws out 
of reach of the father's 
gleaming tusks, leaving the 
incautious youngster un- 

beds of rivers, dry ex- 
cept in the rainy sea- 
son from the end of 
June to the middle of 
October. Here covered with jungle — not 
the dense undergrowth and giant trees of 
the Terai Forest, with their orchid-clad 
boughs and tangled festoons of swinging 
creepers, but breast-high dry yellow grass 
hiding countless, sharp-thorned bushes and 
dotted with low trees that, too, had more 
thorns than leaves. There, painfully 
cultivated fields won and kept from the 
encroaching wilderness only by the patient 
toil of countless generations of hard-working 
Indian peasants, whose thatched, mud- 
walled huts were gathered together in ugly 
little hamlets of narrow, foul alleys crowded 
all day long with happy, naked children and 
gangs of masterless pariah-dogs, growling, 
scratching, thieving, fighting from dawn to 

They laboured hard, these brown-skinned 


They toiled the livelong day and yet 
were not free to sleep by night. For when 
the green blades pushed up between the 
loose stones to gladden their eyes and their 
hearts, then from his lair in the hills each 
hungry wild boar and his brood marked the 
welcome sight and stole down by night to 
invade the cultivation and condemn the 
peasants to famine and starvation. So to 
defend their food supply the tired husband- 
men had to watch their precious fields in 
the dark hours and guard them from the 
four-legged robbers. They must rely on 
shouts and slings to drive the raiders away, 
knowing to their cost that these were sure 
to return again the next night. For the 




peasant is too poor to possess a gun, indeed 
in British India is generally allowed no 
better arm than his wire-bound cudgel. 
Well for him that the boar, as plucky and 
stout-hearted a beast as walks, is peace- 
loving and imbued with the wild animal's 
sense of avoidance of Man. 

For if it were aggressive it would be a 
dangerous foe, since its sharp tusks are 
deadly weapons and its courage is great. 
But as it is, the wild pigs, where they can 
flourish with immunity, are a curse to the 
cultivator, who would hail with joy the 
coming of a tiger into his neighbourhood in 
the hope that it might rid him of the pest. 
For of it he personally has no fear, since it 
seldom attacks Man unprovoked ; and, if 
the cattle are well fenced in the village 
byres at night by high and impenetrable 
hedges of dry thorn, the striped thief may 
be content to prey on the wild pig. 

However, no useful tiger chanced to 
wander the way of the young and growing 
boar that had climbed wearily up the steep 
hill after the raid. Stronger with every 
sun that rose and set he roamed the jungle 
by day or plundered the fields by night, 
always in company with his group of near 
relatives. For wild pigs are true Orientals 
in their family love and cling closer than 
gipsies. The father is lord and law-giver 
to his small harem of wives and children ; 
but he leads them to find the food that 
Nature offers or Man provides against his 
will, and, always ready to sacrifice his own 
life in their defence, he guards them against 
the dangers that threaten them. 

More than once, as the youngster was 
growing up, a slinking, skulking hyena, with 
jaws stronger than a tiger's and heart 
smaller than a mouse's, looked hungrily at 
him out of one eye as it sneaked down the 
hill in search of carrion ; but it kept the 
other on the great boar lying near and 
wisely went on its way. Once a panther 
almost caught him as he was straying from 
the family circle ; but a deep grunt warned 
the spotted robber off just in time ; and it 
stole noiselessly on cat-like paws out of 
reach of the father's gleaming tusks, leaving 
the incautious youngster unscathed. 

The time came when in due course the 
white points pushed out of his aching gums 
and his own tusks began to show them- 
selves. As they grew, the lower one was 
longer and sharper, crescent-shaped, needle- 
like, deep-embedded since less than half of 
its length showed outside. The upper was 
shorter, blunter, curved to fit close against 

its fellow in the lower jaw. They were 
deadly weapons of defence — only of defence, 
for the wild boar, confident in his own 
strength, is not quarrelsome or aggressive, 
but brave and chivalrous. Yet beasts of 
prey generally shun him and no man seeks 
to fight him on level terms. 

Until his tusks and he himself were fully 
grown this youngster was content to stay 
with his family, live with it, raid with it, 
rob the fields and flee back with it when 
dawn and the stones and shouts of the 
watchers drove them out of the crops. The 
ryots — as Indian .cultivators are called — 
abused them eloquently ; but libels on 
the pigs' ancestors for many generations 
back — which were the chief theme of the 
abuse — had not the effect of shaming the 
thieves away. Then the headmen of the 
villages took counsel together ; and a fleet- 
footed youth, when his mother had tied up 
in a dirty scrap of cotton cloth a few thick 
and flabby pancakes called chwpatties and 
given them to him to thrust in his breast, 
set off barefoot to run thirty miles and more 
along dusty highways to bear the elders' 
appeal for aid to a certain military station 
where, as in all others throughout India, 
young officers were fretting for sport. 

The parties most intimately concerned in 
the matter knew nothing of this and con- 
tinued their nightly raids undisturbed. But 
one morning, as dawn streaked the sky, 
those wild pigs feeding in a certain group 
of fields noticed with uneasiness that the 
spasmodic bursts of shouts to which they 
had grown too used to heed were changed 
into systematic and regular cries coming 
in a long, strung-out line approaching them. 
And the hard earth echoed to a regulated 
tapping of heavy sticks, a strange and 
unaccustomed noise that, like the unusual 
always, was terrifying and contained a 
threat. So, as the day dawned, little 
sounders of wild pig broke almost simul- 
taneously out of the green crops on a mile 
front ; and behind them, strung out in a 
scattered line, came scores of barelegged, 
barefooted peasants, some with threadbare 
brown blankets wrapped around their heads 
and shoulders to keep out the morning chill, 
others shivering in their thin white cotton 
garments. They struck the ground rhyth- 
mically with their long, wire-bound cudgels, 
they cried out, not loudly, but regularly ; 
and before them the raiders retreated. 

But close behind the coolies were little 
groups of horsemen at long intervals, white 
men on well-groomed ponies ; and each 



right hand held a long bamboo spear with 
a sharp steel head. Every group was 
captained by one more skilled in the great 
Indian sport of pigsticking than his fellows ; 
and he it was who, when a sounder of the 
squat animals stampeded in the open before 
them, decided which one among them was 
worthy of being hunted and, when it had 
had in his opinion a fair start, gave the 
word to ride after it. No females must be 
chased, or small and immature boars ; but 
only such as are fully grown and well able 
to defend themselves. 

Soon the stony plain was covered with 
flying groups, the advanced point of each 
a black or grey-hided boar with four or six 
riders strung out in file behind him according 
to the speed of their ponies, which raced at 
top pace after the lumbering quarry that, 
with all his awkward, rocking-horse motion, 
yet gave them as much as they could do to 
overtake him. 

And when the first rider did so and leant 
forward with levelled spear to give the death- 
stroke, the boar, jinked, that is, swung 
sharply off in a new direction, and the dis- 
appointed; man was carried on helplessly, 
tugging in vain at the reins as his excited 
horse galloped blindly on. Again and again 
the hunted animal thus threw out its pur- 
suers ; until at last, tqo tired to run farther, 
it stopped and, the light of battle shining 
in its eyes, turned to fight to the death. 

Meanwhile the sows and the young males 
fled terrified but unmolested over the loose 
stones, into and out of the nullahs, and 
through the scrub and long grass, heading 
for the sanctuary of the hills. Our growing 
boar was one, dazed at the sudden happen- 
ing, not grasping what it meant. But 
understanding came when, bursting out 
suddenly into an open space, he saw away 
to his right his father and group-leader go 
down with a spear through his heart, roll 
over and over and lie still on his back with 
all four legs stiff in air. 

For the moment panic seized him, for he 
was yet very young ; and with beating 
heart he swerved off towards a clump of 
thorny bu-shes with some vague idea of 
hiding in it. But suddenly he checked with 
forelegs stretched out ; for round it came 
one of the strange new beasts, half horse, 
half man, that he was seeing for the first 
time this day, and it galloped straight at 
him. For a second he thought of flight ; 
but suddenly the courage of his breed flamed 
up in him and with a grunt he charged his 
awful enemy. 

The rider's spear had gone down in- 
stinctively at sight of him, but a second 
glance showed the slender form and barely 
protruding tusks ; and, raising his point 
again, the rider pulled his horse aside with 
a pleased laugh at the youngster's courage 
and passed on, leaving the astonished little 
boar to marvel at the sudden ending to the 
fight, but with an undefined feeling that 
mercy had been shown him. And still 
wondering he climbed to the hill-top where 
the scattered groups of pig were gathering, 
to lament, some of them, the leaders that 
would never return. 

Two years later he was lord and leader of 
his own sounder, a fine, upstanding animal 
nearly forty inches at the shoulder, with 
five inches of sharp, white tusks showing 
out of his jaws on each side of his big head. 
His bristle-covered hide was black. His 
short legs seemed too slender to bear his 
weight ; but they could carry him quickly 
enough over the ground when, as happened 
^ ouce or twice, he was chased by pigstickers, 
none of whom had ever got within spear's 
length of him. Yet this .was due even more 
to his agility in dodging than to his speed. 
The villagers knew him well by sight and 
called him Burra Dhantwallah — The Big 
Tusked One. 

Increasing size and weight had, he found, 
their disadvantages ; for as he grew bigger 
and heavier, he found himself less nimble. 
But the fact was not borne in on him 
strongly at first ; since for a long time the 
raids on the cultivation had been given up 
because of the reprisals by the white hunters 
that they entailed. 

But gradually the memory of their losses 
slipped from the memory of the sounders, 
in most of which young boars had arisen 
to lead them in place of older ones fallen 
under the spears of their enemies. And so 
in this third year of his life Burra Dhant- 
wallah found himself one day again gallop- 
ing among the rocks and patches of scrub- 
jungle with a string of horsemen lengthening 
out behind him. That the leaders were 
very near him was his own fault, since he 
had deliberately waited to draw the hunters 
away from the females and young of his 
sounder, although he realised that he was 
the real object of the pursuit. His chival- 
rous self-sacrifice was likely to cost him 
dear, when he found that he was not as 
speedy as he had been a year before. 

But his cunning remained. Again and 
again a rider was borne on helplessly in 
the wrong direction, vainly trying to turn 



his maddened horse and follow the wily- 
boar which had jinked just as the spear- 
point had seemed almost to touch him. 
And the chase at last got into such broken 
ground, narrow but deep nullahs, rocky 
mounds and impenetrable thorny scrub, 
that one by one the hunters were thrown 
out and lost sight of the elusive quarry, 
until Dhantwallah was left with only a 
single enemy at his heels. 

But he was tiring now, his breath failing, 
his labouring heart thumping against his 
ribs. Yet his spirit was as staunch as ever ; 
and, as the solitary hunter followed closely 
his twists and turns in the mad chase among 
thick bushes set with sharp hooks, over 
loose stones that slipped from under the 
pony's hoofs, between clumps of tall cactus 
with their cruel spines, the big boar stopped 
suddenly, swung round and with a vicious 
grunt charged straight at his persistent 
pursuer. At sight . of the savage beast 
bounding towards him the pony took fright, 
swerved first to one side, then to the other, 
disconcerting his rider's aim with the spear, 
and finally in its blind terror galloped 
straight at the oncoming boar and sprang 
right over him. . / r v 

As it - passed above him Dhantwallah 
leaped up, with one upward rake of his long 
tusk gashed its ' chest' to the girth and 
brought the wounded pony crashing to the 
ground, its rider's leg pinned under it. 

The man lay almost stunned, yet con- 
scious enough to be aware of swiftly coming 
death, as the boar turned savagely on him: 
Utterly helpless, unable to move, he gave 
himself up for lost as he saw the deadly 
tusks gleam. But — was it remembrance 
of the mercy shown him ? — a feeling of 
chivalry that disdained vengeance on a 
helpless foe seemed to possess the boar ; 
and, checking in his fatal rush, he turned 
and bounded out of sight. 

When, breathless and exhausted, Dhant- 
wallah had reached the hill-top he found 
his scattered sowntfer come together again. 
They had given him up for lost ; and the 
next young boar was already beginning to 
regard the others with a proprietorial eye. 
To his disappointment he was forced to 
stand regretfully aside as the rest gladly 
nosed their unexpectedly returned lord. 

Dhantwallah knew it, but bore him no 
malice; .for it was the Law of the Wild. 
When the leader vanished or grew old and 
feeble the rule must pass to one younger, 
bolder and more vigorous ; and it was not 
just to blame a would-be supplanter. This 

one, however, must wait awhile yet. It 
was always open to him to break away and 
start a little family of his own. 

And this he did before very long, leaving 
Dhantwallah to continue unchallenged in 
his rulership. 

Well it was for the sounder that their 
chieftain was no young and inexperienced 
leader, when what the cultivators had so 
ardently hoped for actually happened and 
into the domain of the wild pigs came the 
tyrant of the jungle, an orange-skinned, 
black-barred young tiger, fresh launched on 
its career of slaughter. 

It marked its intrusion on the community 
by pouncing upon a sow sleeping with her 
litter, slaying and devouring all. Panic 
seized those lying around ; and the whole 
colony scattered and fled down the hill. 
Next day, hidden in bushes over a pool in 
a nullah, it caught a young boar off his 
guard when drinking and killed him. 

On the following afternoon as it prowled 
over the hill it came on Dhantwallah's 
sounder resting and dozing among the rocks on 
the flat crest, in preparation for a night raid. 
Crouching low, crawling forward cautiously 
inch by inch, it drew near unperceived until 
it was almost within springing distance, 
when a restless young female, getting up 
to find a softer spot to lie on, saw it and 
gave the alarm. There was a wild stampede ; 
and the tiger, rising up, was about to rush 
after the fleeing pigs, when with a challenging 
grunt Dhantwallah dashed through the 
fugitives and faced it. ^ 

For a moment the great striped beast 
stared almost unbelievingly at him, amazed 
that an animal of any but its own race 
should dare to stand up to it. A fight 
between the two so unequally matched 
seemed impossible. The tiger was so very 
much larger, heavier and better-armed 
than the boar, whose tusks appeared a poor 
weapon to oppose to the fangs and claws of 
the beast of prey. But Dhantwallah did 
not flinch, for he knew that the safety of 
the females and young depended on him. 
Not for a moment did he think of saving 
himself by flight and letting them be sacri- 
ficed in his stead ; for no mail-clad knight of 
old had greater courage or higher chivalry 
than this jungle champion of the weak. ''-■ ' 

The tiger was too young and inexperienced 
to know that a wild boar is not a foe to 
be despised ; and, disdaining caution in the 
attack, it rushed with an angry roar at the 
foolhardy animal that dared to interfere 
between it and its prey. 

•■ The biff boar stopped suddenly, swung round and with a vicious grunt charged straight at his persistent 

pursuer. At sight of the savage beast bounding towards him the iDony took fright, swerved first to one side, 

then to the other, disconcerting his rider's aim with the spear. 



With lowered head Dhantwallah waited 
unmoved until his enemy was almost on 
him, then, as it charged blindly at him, 
slipped aside with surprising agility ; and 
the baffled tiger was carried past him by 
the impetus of its furious attack. Enraged, 
it turned and again dashed at the boar 
standing motionless. The same thing hap- 
pened once more ; but as the great beast 
swept by Dhantwallah plunged at it and 
with a sweeping rake of his sharp tusk 
ripped its flank open, inflicting a deep but 
not disabling wound. 

With a scream of pain the tiger swung 
round and, taught caution, rushed at him 
but checked suddenly and struck swiftly 
and savagely at the boar, who leapt away 
a fraction late. The heavy paw caught 
him on the head, barely missing the eye, 
but tearing the ear away and scoring deep 
gashes that cut to the bone and brought 
the blood spurting out. 

Dhantwallah was staggered by the force 
of the blow and saved himself only by a 
swift movement as the tiger sprang in to 
follow up its advantage. Again baffled, the 
great brute stopped and glared at its 
opponent, who turned to present his for- 
midable tusks to it as it crouched to spring 

With a deafening roar the tiger leapt 
clean over him, striking a downward blow 
as it did so and all but knocking him over. 
But the boar recovered himself quickly and 
swung about again to face his terrible foe 
as dauntlessly as ever ; and before such 
courage the tiger weakened and would ^ 
willingly have withdrawn from the fight. 
Moving aside, it tried to pass him to pursue 
the fast-disappearing sows and young. 

But their champion would not desert 
them to save himself and still thrust his 
body between them and danger. This time 

he did not wait to be attacked but suddenly 
shot forward in a fierce charge which nearly 
caught the tiger napping, as it stared after 
the fleeing pigs. Only a sudden spring 
aside saved it. But not altogether, for 
Dhantwallah got another thrust in and 
gashed its ribs badly. 

With a savage snarl it struck back at him, 
staggering him with a vicious blow that 
scored long, raking cuts from neck to tail. 
Then, determined to end the fight, it 
bounded at him and suddenly leapt into 
the air, intending to come down on the 
boar's back. 

But as it rose off the ground Dhantwallah 
dashed in under it and, springing straight 
up on hindlegs as the tiger's body passed 
over him, thrust upward, plunging his tusk 
deep into its belly and ripping it open with 
a terrible raking cut that practically dis- 
embowelled it. With a scream the tiger 
fell forward on its head and tried to stagger 
up ; but the boar charged in and drove his 
blood-stained tusk into -its side. The 
mortally wounded beast curled round and 
clawed him horribly, tearing the flesh from, 
skull to ribs ; but the gallant pig only thrust 
his fatal weapon in deeper with an upward 
lift of his head, until the deadly clasp of 
the claw- tipped paws relaxed. Then, as 
he withdrew his tusk and backed away, the 
tiger fell heavily, struggled vainly to rise 
and lay writhing in agony on the blood- 
stained ground. 

And Dhantwallah painfully dragged his 
torn body away and collapsed in exhaustion 
among the rocks, badly wounded but 
victorious, content to suffer since he had 
saved the rest. 

And from the sky and earth the under- 
takers of the jungle, the vultures and the 
jackals, gathered hungrily to watch the last 
struggles of the dying tiger. 


"lylTlNTER to winter, and a June between — 
^ ^ This is his life, who conies with festal noise ; 
Young, young is he as all the years have been; 
He is a stranger with a box of toys. 

I do not know what unsought gifts he bears, 
Whether intent to bless, or rend, or slay ; 
' I know he'll journey like the elder years, 
A sun -round into silence, even as they. 


z^/y Ay^ 

" ' Oh, flow sad for the young British lord ! ' 





"VE no patience with Ellen Lloyd — no 
patience whatever," remarked Mrs. 
Clutterbuck to her husband, one 
summer's evening, as they were sitting to- 
gether in their ^pretty old-fashioned garden 
after the day's work was done. 

Farmer Clutterbuck grunted with that 
half-hearted attention which husbands usu- 
ally pay to their wives' conversation after 
listening to it for over thirty years. 

Mrs. Clutterbuck continued with that in- 
difference to her husband's attention which 
talkative wives frequently display : " She 

has notions which are over my head alto- 
gether : she's gone beyond herself — that's 
what's the matter with her : and all these 
high-falutin notions of hers will come to no 
good, either for herself or for those about her, 
if you ask my opinion." 

Farmer Clutterbuck did not ask her 
opinion, but he got it nevertheless. It was 
a commodity which he had received gratui- 
tously and in abundant measure for ovet 
thirty years. 

" She's always tattling and dreaming 
about the hills over there," went on Mrs. 




Clutterbuck, poiiiting with her thumb in a 
south-westerly direction ; ** and about those 
old Koman remains that are turning up now 
and again : and what, I should like to know, 
is the use of thinking and talking about hills 
that are twenty miles away, and houses and 
things that fell into ruin fifteen hundred 
years ago or more ? I've no objection to 
children thinking about such things : it's 
their nature, poor little dears ! to be foolish 
and fanciful, though I don't hold with too 
many fairy-tales even for them : but for a 
middle-aged woman — and a plain one at 
that — ^to fill her head with such rubbish, 
seems to me fairly ridiculous." 

" Well, anyway, it's better than filling it 
with thoughts of young men and love- 
making, as most women do — especially as 
she's getting old and never was good-look- 
ing," remarked the farmer : '* at any rate, so 
it seems to me," he added, with the caution 
of the long-married man. 

But his good wife babbled on as if he had 
not spoken. " And the Vicar encourages 
her, and that makes her worse. I wonder at 
him ; but you never can tell what ridiculous 
notions unmarried clergymen will get into 
their heads. It may be incense, or it may 
be socialism, or it may be historical remains : 
you never know how it'll take them, when 
they've no wives and families to fill up 
their spare time^ and to divert them from 
getting fancies into^ their heads. I don't 
hold with unniarried clergymen : I never 
have. Give me a parson with a comfortable 
wife and half a dozen or more little olive- 
branches, as they call them, sitting round the 
table, and he'll be able to enter into the lives 
and difficulties of his parishioners far better 
than an inexperienced young bachelor can. 
And he won't have time or patience to 
trouble his head with the Clee Hills or the 
ancient Romans or any other fal-lals of that 

And as, by this time, the farmer had fallen 
into a well-earned doze, his wifevcontinued 
her monologue uninterrupted. ■ 

• Mrs.' Clutterbuck was not alone in her 
condemnation of Ellen Lloyd. Poor Ellen 
was one of those^ — of whom, alas ! there are 
only too many — whose inside and outside 
do not match one another, and who are in 
consequence always unpopular with the rest 
of the herd. The herd-mind is not subtle, 
and has neither the leisure nor the inclina- 
tion to probe below the surface ; and con- 
sequently approves only of those persons 
whose outward appearance is an infallible 
guide to their inner characters. In short, 

the herd-mind requires that the illustrations 
and the letterpress should exactly corre- 

Ellen Lloyd's illustrations and letterpress 
— unfortunately for her — had apparently no 
connection with each other. She possessed 
a beautiful soul enshrined in an unbeautiful 
body. Outwardly she was a plain, middle- 
aged little spinster, with no distinction or 
charm about her ; but, like a king's daughter, 
she was all glorious within, with a refined 
and cultured mind, and a pure and unselfish 
spirit. And not only was her mind refined 
and cultured : it was filled with exquisite 
thoughts and poetical imaginations ; and 
choice indeed were the plants and flowers 
which flourished in the garden of her soul. 
Being poor and plain, she had tasted little 
earthly joy or happiness : but she lived 
chiefly in a world of dreams, which rendered 
her more or less immune from ordinary 
vexations and disappointments. These fas- 
cinating dreams of hers played chiefly around 
the remains of a Roman villa close to the 
village of Grassingham, where she had always 
lived. There was little of it left — only some 
scraps of tessellated pavement and a bit of 
broken wall — but tradition said it had been 
built by a Roman nobleman in the second or 
third century, who had come with his legions 
from the neighbouring city of Uriconium ; 
ousted the British owner and driven him and 
his followers through the pass between the 
Clee Hills into the fastnesses of Wales ; and 
erected a house for himself on the land of the 
conquered Briton. The legend added that 
I the young British noble, who had originally 
owned the place, belonged to that early 
Christian Church founded at Glastonbury 
by Joseph of Arimathaea, which gradually 
spread through the West of England until 
the heathen rites of the Roman conquerors 
superseded and almost crushed it ; and this 
legend was strengthened by the fact that not 
far from the remains of the Roman villa 
there was a stone slab, covered with strange 
letters and carvings, which archaeologists 
pronounced to have been originally a shrine 
dedicated' to the goddess Diana. 

From her earliest childhood these historical 
antiquities had inspired the imagination of 
Ellen Lloyd, until to her they became almost 
more real than the actual village of to-day : 
she was always dreaming p^bout them and 
picturing the things that happened there in 
b5^gone ages : but what thrilled her even 
more than the Roman villa and the deserted 
heathen shrine, was the distant view of the 
Clee Hills — ^those twin peaks of the Brown 



Clee and Titterstone, which guard the narrow 
defile that lies between them. As far back 
as she could remember she had cherished a 
feeling that if only she could go through the 
pass between the two hills, she would find — 
on the other side of them — something which 
she had needed and longed for from time 
immemorial, but so far had failed to discover. 
What it was that she sought and longed for, 
she did not know : she only knew that, 
whatever it was, she should find it on the 
other side of the Clee Hills. 

As a child she had spent long hours in 
playing by herself about the ancient heathen 
altar close by the old Roman villa. Alone 
and in secret she had laid flowers and other 
trifles as votive offerings on the flat stone 
with its strange inscriptions ; and had 
occasionally lighted a fire thereon and offered 
up little sacrifices of toys and trifling objects, 
pretending that she was an ancient Roman 
maiden, who had come with her family from 
Uriconium, to live in the stately villa not far 
^' from the old Roman road, known as the 
Watling Street. 

In those days she had loved to imagine 
herself a votary of the beautiful goddess who 
hunted the neighbouring hills and woods 
with her ghostly hounds ; but as she grew 
older, and began to delve deeper into the 
hidden meanings of ordinary things, she 
developed a hatred of the heathen gods and 
goddesses who had played such a part in her 
childish games and imaginations, feeling that 
they were more than mere myths and fairy- 
tales, and were indeed those false gods 
against which the Bible, which she had been 
brought up to read and reverence, so persis- 
tently warned her. Then Ellen Lloyd ceased 
from her childish offerings and burnt-sacri- 
fices, and knelt instead upon the flat stone, 
praying to the One True God that He would 
sanctify the heathen altar and make it His 
Own. She had one of those devout natures 
to which religion is a necessary thing ; and 
as she grew into womanhood she grew in 
grace, and became the right hand of the 
Vicar of the parish, taking upon her shoulders 
the duties of district nurse and sister of 
mercy, with no remuneration save the grati- 
tude of the poor. She was the only child of 
elderly parents ; and after they died, within 
a few weeks of one another, she lived alone, 
devoting herself entirely to good works. 

When she was nearly fifty years old, 
the Vicar died ; and his wife — Ellen's 
greatest friend — left the parish ; so she was 
more lonely than ever, until she found in the 
new Vicar — a dreamy and poetical yet withal 

scholarly young man— a companion after her 
own heart. Like Ellen, he was thrilled with 
interest in the Roman remains close to the 
village of Grassingham ; but, unlike her, he 
had the opportunity of studying the subject 
in books of reference and ancient libraries ; 
and he gladly shared his information with the 
pathetic little spinster who cherished an 
almost childish belief in the legends of her 
native place. 

" I came upon an old book in the British 
Museum," he told her one day, just after he 
had spent a week's holiday in town, " giving 
the whole history of Grassingham. And I 
read it all up, and took notes, so as to be able 
to give a lecture on it in the village hall." 
Ellen's faded eyes lit up with pleasure. 
" How splendid ! I shall love to hear it." 
Then her face fell. " But I doubt if many 
other people will care much about it, as no 
one seems to take any interest in all the 
wonderful things that happened here in the 
days of the Roman occupation of Britain." 

" I know. Isn't it odd ? It is most 
strange to me that so few people seem to 
possess the historic instinct, even with regard 
to the places in which they live ; and yet I 
cannot help believing that the people who 
inhabited a place ages ago left something of 
their atmosphere behind them, which clings 
to that place even to the present time." 

" Oh, so do I, Mr. Lovel ; and that is why 
old places are so much more interesting than 
new ones. But tell me about Grassingham. 
Did you learn any more details about the 
Roman centurion who drove the British 
chieftain over the hills, and annexed his 
property ? " 

** Yes, Miss Lloyd, I did ; and that is what 
I am longing to tell you. I gather that — 
according to tradition — the Roman soldier 
not only stole the young Briton's house and 
lands, but his lady-love as well." 

** Oh, how sad for the young British 
lord ! " 

" Very rough luck on him ! The young 
British chieftain — Gawain by name — was 
betrothed to a beautiful maiden called Elyn, 
who, like himself, was a Christian ; and he 
took her with him when he fled as a fugitive 
— with a handful of followers — between the 
Clee Hills into Wales. As you are aware, 
Christianity was never stamped out in Wales, 
any more than in Ireland and the West of 
Scotland. Gradually its influence spread 
eastward, and the Roman civilisation of 
Britain became converted to the true 
Faith ; but that was not uniillong after the 
days of Gawain and Elyn." 



*' Please tell me more about them." Miss 
Lloyd was always intensely interested in 
other people's love-affairs, never having had 
one of her own. 

'' Naturally the life of a fugitive was con- 
siderably less luxurious than that of a Eoman 
centurion— even in those far-off times," 
replied the Vicar ; " and judging by the 
various articles found in the remains of the 
Soman occupation of Britain, the civilisa- 
tion of those days was not so very inferior to 
that of our own times. At any rate, poor 
Elyn hankered after the flesh-pots — not of 
Egypt but of Rome ; and finally ran away 
from her Christian lover into the arms of 
the conqueror who had ousted him from 
his home." 

Miss Lloyd sighed. " How dreadful of 
her ! I cannot understand how any woman 
can fling away so priceless a gift as the love 
of a good man." , , 

" Still, a great many women do, more's the 

" But tell me, Mr. Lovel, 

how did she know anything 

about the Roman soldier ? " 

*' As far as I could make 

out from the quaint old 

manuscript in the British 


from which I 

culled the 

details of the 

story, the beauty of Elyn was so great that 
the fame of it had reached to Uriconium, and 
had lured the Roman officer to the place 
where she lived ; and he was so much en- 
chanted with the spot when he got there — 
the spot where our village now stands — ^that 
he decided to drive out the rightful owner, 
and build a villa for himself there. Which 
he promptly proceeded to do." 

" But I thought you said that Elyn fled 
with her conquered lover." 

" So she did," replied Mr. Lovel ; " but 
she did not forget the honours and riches she 
had renounced on his account ; and when 
she found that the life of a Christian fugitive 
was not to her liking, she forsook her lover 
and his religion, and came back to her native 
place, and to the foreign conqueror who now 
ruled there." 

" And was she rewarded by the riches and 
honours for which she had sold her soul ? " 

" She was," said the Vicar ; " she became 
the wife of the Roman lord, and a typical 
Roman matron, worshipping her husband's 
gods and offering up sacrifices upon? their 
altars. She was known by the name of 
Helena, and was a great lady in these parts ; 
and lived to what in those days was con- 
sidared a ripe old age." 

" She didn't deserve it ! " cried Miss Lloyd 
passionately : ** I cannot bear to think of 
her enjoying all that after having forsaken 
her lover and forsworn her faith." 

The Vicar shook his head. '' I don't agree 

with you. Miss Lloyd ; I think shie got her 

deserts, as most of us do. Remember the 

Devil is always ready to pay us what he owes 

us, and to exact from 

us to the uttermost 

all that we in re- 

fcurn owe him." 

'■ For a moment a great char-a-banc, thundering along the road, obscured Miss Lloyd's view ; and 
then beyond it she beheld a wondrous sight." 

'* Through the narrow 
pass between the two 
hills came an army 
with banners, led by a 
young warrior riding 
upon a white horse . . . 
the young warrior 
reined in his steed, 
and stooped down, and 
lifted her on to his own 

" And you think she was never punished 
for what she had done— never lived to 
regret it ? '^ ' 

'' No, no, I never said that. On the con- 
trary, I feel sure that she did live to regret 
what she had done, and agonised because 
she could not undo it. I imagine her, when 
she became a disillusioned old woman, gaz- 
ing at the Glee Hills as you so often have 
gazed at them, and realising that beyond 
them lay all that could make life glorious and 
death more glorious still ; and understanding 
also that she had turned her back upon it 
all when she returned to the unsatisfying 
husks of worldly success and material riches. 
Remember, ^he had known Christianity— she 
had known Love ; she could not plead that 
she had sinned in ignorance of the Higher 
Things : and do you believe that this know- 
ledge was such as would bring any man or 
any woman peace at the last ? Certainly I 

Ellen shook her head. *' Nor I either ; 
but I think she deserved all she got." 

'' We all deserve what we get— and a great 
deal more ; but that doesn't make it any 
easier to bear." 

'' But you think she was not really happy 
in the end ? " 

" It depends tpon what you mean by the 
end," replied Mr. Lovel. " I think that Elyn 
or Helena, or whatever you like to call her, 
was not happy in her old age or upon her 
death-bed, when she realised that she had 
sold her heavenly birthright for a mess of 
pottage, and had laid up no real treasure for 
herself either in earth or heaven ; but the 
end was not yet. I feel sure she was not 
happy upon the other side of death, when she 
understood at last the full meaning of life 
and its values, and knew all the bliss that she 
had forfeited and all the misery she had 
earned. But still I like to believe that the 
end was not yet." 

'' But she did not merit happiness here- 
after," argued Miss Lloyd; "you must see 

"I do. But then we none of us merit 
happiness hereafter ; not even the greatest 
saint that ever lived." 

" But Helena had not only sinned : she 
had rejected the truths of Christianity." 

" Still, the truths of Christianity stood 



firm, whether she rejected them or not ; and 
I like to think that when she saw herself as 
she was and realised what she had done, she 
repented in dust and ashes, and prayed to be 
allowed to begin all over again, in a Strength 
not her own." 

" And do you believe her prayer was 
answered 1 " asked Miss Lloyd. 

*' I do not know," replied the Vicar, after 
a pause. *' I can tell you I feel sure that she 
did repent of her sin when Death drew aside 
the veil and showed her the truth ; but 
beyond that I have no authority to go. 
Still, I like to dream that the Love — both 
human and Divine — which she had rejected 
was stronger than she was and would not let 
her go. I like to imagine that in some other 
world than this, she struggled towards the 
Light, and saw It from afar, and followed It 
until It guided her out of the abomination of 
desolation into final forgiveness and peace." 

*' It is a comforting dream," remarked 
Miss Lloyd gently ; " tell me more of it." 

" Mind you, it is only a dream," replied 
Mr. Lovel ; " I have no authority to teach it 
as truth. But still, I like to imagine that 
after ages of repentance and probation Elyn 
was allowed to come back to earth once more, 
to try if she could undo some of the evil that 
she had wrought. I think of her as a simple 
Christian woman, stripped of all the beauty 
and wealth and rank which bad aforetime led 
her astray and proved her ruin, walking 
humbly with her God, and doing her duty in 
that state of life to which it had pleased Him 
to call her." 

*' And do you dream that she found her 
British lover again ? " 
r.'M hope so, because Love is immortal; 
but it is all an imagination of mine." 

" I think it is a very nice imagination," 
said Ellen Lloyd with a smile ; " and I shall 
imagine it, too, when I go to the remains of 
the Roman villa and altar, and when I look 
at the Clee Hills and the pass between them. 
It will make me love them more than ever." 

And so the two friends parted, and went to 
fulfil their various duties ; but Ellen pon- 
dered much upon the thoughts suggested to 
her by the Vicar, and was all the happier for 
them in her simple way. 

And she was happier still the following 
spring when the Vicar returned from his 
holiday with a small motor-car which he had 
bought and learnt to drive. He was kind to 
all his parishioners in taking them for rides, 
or to see relatives who lived beyond walking 
distance ; but he was especially kind to 
Ellen Lloyd, for he recognised her beautiful 

character and pitied her lonely condition. 
Greatly did she enjoy those rides in the 
lovely surroundings of her, native place ; but 
her cup of joy was filled to overflowing when 
Mr. Lovel suggested a motor ride to the Clee 
Hills, so that she could see near at hand the 
enchanted spot which had laid a spell upon 
her ever since she could remember. 

The date of this much-anticipated excur- 
sion fell upon one of those beautiful days in 
August, when all the world seems to be at 
rest. The joy of spring was over — ^the sad- 
ness of autumn had not yet begun ; the 
cornfields were ripe unto harvest, and 
shivered like molfen gold and silver when 
the faint breezes passed over them. Ellen 
Lloyd was silent with pure happiness as she 
passed through the fertile plain which she 
had beheld all her life from a distance, but 
the consummate beauty of which she had 
never fully realised until now ; and her joy 
grew more intense as they approached the 
twin peaks of the Brown Clee and Titterstone, 
and the western road that wound between 
them. The feehng that beyond these hills 
lay something that she had long missed and 
vainly sought, grew stronger and stronger as 
they approached this gateway of the West ; 
and her heart beat like that of a young girl 
going to meet her lover. 

For a moment a great char-a-banc, thun- 
dering along the road, obscured Miss Lloyd's 
view ; and then beyond it she beheld a 
wondrous sight. Through the narrow pass 
between the two hills came an aimy with 
banners, led by a young warrior riding upon 
a white horse ; and upon the waving banners 
Ellen saw the device of a red cross on a white 
field. Her heart was flooded with a joy that 
she had never felt before, and yet which she 
had somehow known was always waiting for 
her ; and that joy was exalted into ecstasy 
when the young warrior reined in his steed, 
and stooped down, and lifted her on to his 
own horse. Then with a song of triumph the 
cavalcade wheeled round, and they all rode 
together, through the shadow of the hills, 
into the sunlight. 

H: Ht H: ^ ^ 

There was a short paragraph in the news- 
papers the following day to the effect that 
whilst driving a parishioner in his small car, 
the Reverend Leonard Lovel, Vicar of Grass- 
ingham, came in collision with a char-a-banc 
filled with tourists. Mr. Lovel escaped with 
only trifling injuries ; but his parishioner, 
Miss Ellen Lloyd, was killed upon the spot. 

That was all that the newspapers said. But 
then newspapers are proverbially inaccurate. 







A QUITE ordinary man may receive 
in one morning's mail a book 
catalogue, a bulb catalogue, an 
offer from Messrs. Cameron, Bruce & 
Bull to send him £500 by return of post on 
his note of hand alone, a letter requesting 
a subscription to a hospital in West Africa, 
another from a complete stranger who says 
that he once met the ordinary man's aunt 
and would like a loan of £15, repayable in 
one month, to save his home, and yet one 
more to point out the advantage of becoming 
a member of an unknown proprietary club 
at a reduced subscription. 

And what does the ordinary man do ? 
He may perhaps wonder for one moment 
why so many stamps are expended in 
circulating literature which is bound to fail 
to reach its objective. He then deposits 
the lot in a suitable receptacle for waste- 
paper. And that is that. 

But Mr. Dumphi-y was not quite an 
ordinary man. True, -at his office no letter 
which did not concern his business ever got 
through to him, but anything sent to his 
private address was quite likely to receive 
his attention. He would search the book 
catalogue for the bargain"* ^hich he never 
found, and he would be afnused with the 
quaint English which the -wily Dutchman 
had inserted in his bulb catalogue to in- 
crease the probability that it would be read. 
Mr. Dumphry neither lent nor borrowed 
money. But when the Order of Minor 
Mercies sent him its superb literature, he 

not only read it but he was very favour- 
ably impressed. 

The Order of Minor Mercies sent out its 
little budget from an office in the west-end 
of London. It boasted a Bishop as its 
patron and a retired Colonel as its secretary. 
Its printed appeal was excellently printed 
on the best paper, and the letter addressed 
by the secretary to Ernest Dumphry, Esq., 
personally, was typed in perfection. 

The object of the Order, said the printed 
appeal, was to encourage in every way the 
practice of those mercies which, precisely 
because they were minor, were so often 
neglected. Many people; kindly and humane 
in other respects, used methods of killing 
ffies, wasps, and moths which were simply 
revolting in their cruelty. Such, for in- 
stance, was the use of the tape or paper 
covered with some highly-adhesive but non- 
poisonous material. Flies caught by these 
devices were held prisoner, and only after 
hours of struggle and torture did death 
relieve theiii. Again, jars containing 
sugared beer were hung from fruit-trees, 
and in them wasps and beautiful moths 
often suffered a very lingering and painful 
death ; the very sight of one of those jars 
which had been left out for two or three 
summer days was horrible and revolting. 
Nor were our methods of destroying mice 
and rats much better. No doubt there were 
traps that were supposed to kill instantly, 
but did they always do it ? Often one of 
these wretched animals, caught by a leg or 




tail, would bite off the member by which 
it was held and limp away to its hole to 
die in protracted agony. An eloquent and 
informative passage about Buddha followed. 

The last two pages of the pamphlet got 
down to cold business. The tariff was 
moderate. For an annual ten-and-six you 
became a registered member of the Order, 
and were entitled to one copy of such 
literature as the Order might from time to 
time produce. Raise it to one guinea and 
you became a Fellow, entitled to two copies, 
and with the right to sign F.O.M.M. after 
your name. There were also to be Com- 
manders of the Order. The number of 
these was to be strictly limited, and no one 
was eligible except on direct invitation 
from the Committee. Commanders alone 
were entitled to wear the White Cordon and 
Crystal Jewel of the Order. Incidentally, 
they were also entitled to pay an entrance 
fee of two guineas and an annual subscription 
of the same sum, and were expected to give 
some of their leisure time to propaganda 
work in their district. 

The t3nped letter said: "I have the 
honour to inform you that my Committee 
have, after due consideration, decided to 
invite you to become a Commander of this 
Order. The privileges attaching- to this 
rank are set forth on p. 12 of the enclosed 
pamphlet. The Order has-been in existence 
for less than a year but it has already 
received such high and influential support 
that full recognition is ultimately ex- 

Had Mr. Dumphry been considering this 
solely as a business proposition it is certain 
that he would have found holes in it. He 
would have wanted the names of the Com- 
mittee. He would have wanted publication 
of accounts. He would have reflected that 
some Bishops are a little too prone to lend 
their honourable names to what is pro- 
fessedly a good object without sufficient 
examination, and the commendatory letters 
from celebrities quoted in the pamphlet 
might have been explained in much the 
same way. The last two pages of the 
pamphlet would certainly have suggested 
that somebody was, vulgarly speaking, on 
the make. And the secretary's letter would 
rather have confirmed that view. 

But he was not looking at the business 
end. The object professed was undoubtedly 
good, and it was one that appealed strongly 
to Mr. Dumphry 's kindly heart. He put 
the matter before his family, and met with 

" I should say that these people are right," 
said Mrs. Dumphry. " Of course we have 
to destroy insects and vermin, but that's 
no reason why we shouldn't make it as 
pleasant for them as we can. It's a thing 
I've often thought of. As long as an insect 
is small enough, we don't seem to regard 
its feelings, and that no doubt is why some- 
times these very large elephants attack 
human beings, for everything in life is 

And Mr. Dumphry, who after all had had 
long practice, understood precisely what 
Mrs. Dumphry meant. 

" I call it a jolly good idea," said Barbara. 
" I believe some of the science merchants 
stuff you up that insects can't feel, but I've 
seen them give a fair imitation of it. I 
should join up to this Order thing, if I 
were you, father." 

But Queenie was critical. 

" It's all right in a way," said Queenie. 
" I hate cruelty as much ks anybody. Why, 
if I swipe a spider off the wall, I always look 
on the floor for it, and put my hoof on it 
to make sure. Still, I don't pay a subscrip- 
tion to be allowed to do it. And I don't 
wait to sling the silver-plated jigmaroo of 
the Order round my neck before I do it 
either. And why should anybody ? " 

" You seem," said her father with a mild 
approach to severity, "to be under some 
misapprehensions. You do not pay your 
subscription for permission to be humane. 
Office rent and salaries have to be paid. 
The expenses of the propaganda must be 
considerable. The Insignia of the Order, 
which may not be worn by anybody under 
the rank of Commander, and would be worn 
by him only with evening dress on special 
ceremonial occasions, consists not of a silver- 
plated jigmaroo, but of a White Cordon with 
a Crystal Jewel." 

!' Sorry," said Queenie. ^ j, i, 

" And not only that," added her mother. 
" I do not, and cannot, like the sight of a 
squashed spider on a carpet. You should 
slide a sheet of paper under it, and throw 
it out into the garden." 

At this point Mr. Dumphry was inclined 
to become merely a member of the Order 
at a modest expenditure of ten-and-six, and 
to refuse the more expensive honour that 
was offered him. But that evening Mrs. 
Dumphry studied the pamphlet with far 
more care than Ernest had given to it, and 
it — so to speak — fired her blood. 

" You know, Ernest, it's no good half 
doing a thing. There is an annual dinner 


of the Order, and there is also an evening 
reception in the summer." 

" I hadn't noticed that." 

** Yes. Page eight. No doubt some im- 
portant and influential people will be present, 
and it might be very interesting. If you 
took one of the girls or perhaps myself there, 
it would be more satisfactory to be escorted 
by a Commander of the Order wearing the 
White Cordon with the Crystal Etcetera, 
though I am sure nobody could ever accuse 
me of snobbery. It is simply that we should 
like to see you in a position of some dignity. 
To my mind the Committee pay you a great 

accompanied by a letter of respectful con- 
gratulation from the secretary, ending as 
follows : 

" You are now, of course, entitled to wear 
the Insignia of the Order, the prepaid fee 
for which is ten shillings and sixpence. 
This includes the cost of packing and 
registered postage." 

Mr. Dumphry did not like it. Even that 
address on the envelope gave him qualms. 
What on earth would the postman think ? 
And what would the postman say ? The 
pamphlet had distinctly said that, pending 
full and authoritative recognition, the titles 

"He had always been inclined to fall in love with apparatus, and this was indubitably apparatus.* 

compliment in sending you this special 
invitation, arid it would be ungracious of 
you to refuse it." 

*' Yes, but four guineas," said Mr. Dum- 
phry doubtfully. 

" Only two next year. Of course, if you 
tell me we can't possibly afford it " 

" I wouldn't go so far as that," said 
Ernest. And in the end he let himself 
be persuaded, and sent off his cheque. It 
i8 not impossible that he himself had become 
a little dazzled by the rays of that Crystal 

By return of post he received a formal 
receipt, in an envelope which was addressed 
''• Commander Dumphry, O.M.M." It was 

and insignia should be used only in affairs 
of the Order. But the post-office was dis- 
tressingly public. He might be asked why 
he was Commander Dumphry and what he 
commanded, and it would be unpleasant. 
Still less did Mr. Dumphry like being milked 
of a further ten-and-six. He had expected 
that his four guineas would cover the cost 
of the insignia. However, he had let him- 
self in for it now, and he reluctantly sent the 

But the first real blow came when the 
insignia arrived. In the absence of her 
lord Mrs. Dumphry, in accordance with 
instructions, opened the parcel. She took 
the contents to Mr. Smithson, the local 



jeweller who superintended the watches of 

the Dumphry family. She said nothing 

whatever to her daughters. Habitually 

good-humoured, she new seemed depressed. 

" Ernest," she said, when she was alone 

with him, " this has been a lesson to me. 

As always happens, you were right and I 

was wrong. I should never have advised 

you to become a Commander of the Order 

of Minor Mercies, and I regret it." 

*' What — what's the matter ? " 

'* The insignia — if they can be so called. 

They came by registered post, and when I 

opened the box my heart sank. Why they 

should register Hsuch rubbish, I can't think." 

" The White Cordon ? " Mr. Dumphry 


" Is nothing but twenty inches of very 
narrow white watered silk riband of poor 
quality. To this is slung a small heart of 
ordinary glass by a brass ring. I'm not 
depending on my own judgment, for I took 
the thing to Smithson. It looks like a 
child's toy. You'd never dream of wearing 
it. I've said nothing to the girls." 

Mr. Dumphry inspected the insignia him- 
self and thought deeply. 

'' Well," he said finally, ** this, of course, 
is rather a blow, and I think you were quite 
wise to say nothing to the girls about it. 
But of course the Order of Minor Mercies 
is more or less of a charitable organisation, 
and very likely may consider that any 
swindle in the good cause is justified. Of 
course, if I ever became a member of the 
Committee, a position for which I suppose a 
Commander of the Order would be eligible, I 
should deal very strongly with the matter. 
What I feel at present is that we cannot treat 
these people exactly as if they were a busi- 
ness organisation. You had better put the 
insignia away somewhere — I do not suppose 
I shall ever wear them — and we will wait 
to see what happens before I do anything 
final. There can be no doubt at present 
that the Order is engaged in what I might 
call sharp practice. But there may be an 
explanation for it and it may be corrected." 
Mr. Dumphry then wrote a brief and 
stern letter to the secretary to say that the 
insignia were rubbish and that the Com- 
mittee were totally unjustified in charging 
any sum approaching ten-and-sixpence for 
them. To this letter he never received any 
answer. The Order had not been in existence 
for very long, but probably it had already 
become a little used to trouble about the 

In the meantime Mr. Dumphry conscien- 

tiously carried out his own duties. Without 
actually mentioning the Order of Minor 
Mercies he protested frequently against the 
cruel methods employed in the destruction 
of insects and small vermin. Some flip- 
pantly minded people even found him rather 
a bore on the subject. 

And then one bright still morning Mrs. 
Dumphry was approached by her cook. 

*' We've got mice," said the cook. 
*' We've got one at least, for I saw his 
tail, and there may have been more. Of 
course, I've always seen this coming ever 
since Kootcha was taken from us and 
never replaced." 

Kootcha was an elderly cat, lazy and 
obese. She had been named Kootcha by' 
Queenie because Queenie maintained that 
when you looked at her face you couldn't 
call her anything else. Kootcha was mostly 
asleep when she was not eating and had 
never caught a mouse in her life. She did 
not go for her food when, by the happy 
ordinances of Providence, the food came to 

'' But," said the cook, " she kept them 
down. One way or another, they got to 
know that Kootcha was there, and no mouse 
ever showed its face inside my kitchen. 
And now I suppose we must try traps." 

" Yes," said Mrs. Dumphry, '' but don't 
get any just yet. It is a point on which Mr. 
Dumphry takes strong views, and I should 
like to consult him about it. Some of these 
traps are rather cruel, and Mr. Dumphry 
would never permit that." 

Mrs. Dumphry explained the situation 
to her husband. 

" The pamphlet we had from the Order 
says that the Order is prepared to supply 
members at cost price with traps which 
are guaranteed painless and instantaneous. 
But of course in view of the insignia one 
feels that one must be careful. What do 
you think about it yourself, Ernest ? " 

" Give them a chance," said Ernest. 
" You can write the letter yourself. Of 
course, if it should turn out to be another 
swindle, that finishes it. I've had no 
propaganda literature from them. I've 
heard nothing whatever about the annual 
dinner or evening reception. In fact, I 
haven't heard that they're doing any 
of the things they said they wpre doing. 
If this mouse-trap is another do, I shall 
simply cut my loss and turn the whole thing 

" And I brought you into this," said 
Mrs. Dumphry. ** I can never forget that." 


She sent in her application and received 
with the usual businesslike promptitude of 
the Order the following reply by return of 
post : 

"Madam: He Mouse-traps. We are in 
receipt of your letter and have to-day 
despatched to you one of our Monumento 
traps. This clever machine provides for 
the instant electrocution of any mouse or 
rat that enters it. It is attached to the 
ordinary electric light service and uses no 
current except for the few seconds when it 
is in active operation. It will last a lifetime. 
The cost of this should have been prepaid, 
but as your need seems to be somewhat 
urgent, and in view of the high position 
that Commander Dumphry occupies in our 
Order, we have sent you the trap at once, 
merely requesting a remittance of the cost 
price, ten-and-sixpence, by return of post. 
The price may seem to you to be somewhat 
high, but of course electrical apparatus, 
scientifically planned and thoroughly well 
made, is always somewhat expensive." 

Mr. Dumphry himself opened the parcel. 
It was not at first sight satisfying and he 
was a little inclined to be bitter. 

" Ten-and-six for that lot," he said. 
*' They don't seem to know that there are 
sums under ten-and-sixpence. You are sure 
that they are not charging another ten-and- 
sixpence for the paper of directions ? Oh, 
well, that's something." 

But when he came to examine the machine 
and the paper of directions a change came 
over him. He had always been inclined 
to fall in love with apparatus, and this was 
indubitably apparatus. 

" But after all," he said, "it is an in- 
genious idea. You fit the plug into the 
electric supply and luckily we have all 
arrangements for that in the kitchen. The 
current comes into action only for the few 
seconds when the plunger, which you see 
is marked B here, comes into contact with 
the container which, if you follow along the 
dotted line, you see is marked C. It might 
quite possibly be a very good thing. I 
wonder nobody has ever thought of it 

"Well," owned Mrs. Dumphry, "I can 
generally understand a thing when it's let 
alone, but anything like directions or 
explanations seem to confuse my mind." 

" Oh, nonsense," said Mr. Dumphry. 
^' I'll give a little demonstration with the 
machine after dinner, without of, course, 

connecting it to the electric light, so that 
we shall all understand it." 

He began his demonstration with dignity. 
" This," he said, " is the Monumento trap 
intended to catch mice or rats." 

" Why Monumento ? " asked Queenie. 
" Do not interrupt your father," said Mrs. 
Dumphry. " If memento, then why not 
Monumento ? It's obvious." 

Mr. Dumphry continued his demonstra- 
tion until the actual moment when the 
plunger made contact with the receiver 
and the mythical rat was in consequence 

" All right," said Queenie. " It seems 
quite nice, especially if the mice and rats 
have read the directions. You see, they've 
got to enter at this entrance. Suppose 
they get fuddled and go in at the other 
end ? " 

" In that case," said Mr. Dumphry, 
" they would be entirely unable to approach 
the bait. You may be quite sure that the 
elementary instincts of the animal have been 
considered by the inventor." 

The machine was duly connected up and 
set that night. The mouse had only to 
follow his natural instincts and he was dead 
instantly. But, for one reason or another, 
nothing happened that night. The cook 
became a little restive. 

" Hardly seems worth while," she said, 
" to make things to have them eaten by 
vermin. I never did believe in this 
electricity, anyway. Never had it till I 
came here." 

On the second night the Monumento trap 
again failed to produce results. It was 
certainly a little complicated and one must 
not be too hard on the mice. The cook, 
having to go out that morning, purchased 
a trap for twopence out of her hard-earned 
savings, set it at eleven o'clock, broke the 
neck of the mouse in it at 3.30, and put the 
mouse in the dustbin and said nothing what- 
ever about it. The Monumento trap was 
then set for the third night in succession, 
Mr. Dumphry explaining that it was, of 
course, an unusual object and possibly these 
little animals would be shy of it until they 
had become more accustomed. 

That night was an occasion. It was 
Queenie's birthday and she had many 
friends. They all came in that evening 
and there was dancing in the studio. At 
9.30 precisely all the lights, both in the 
studio and the house, went out simulta- 
neously and Mr. Dumphry found it difficult 
to conceal that he was very much annoyed. 



Candles were produced in lamentable in- 
sufficiency and Mrs. Dumphry said she 
supposed it was one of those lightning strikes 
of which we hear so much. 

" I don't think so," said Mr. Dumphry; 
" the lights are all right down the road. 
What's happened is that our fuse has gone, 
and why it should have 

" * It happened that my foot caught that 
new trap. Something went cHck and a blue 
spark at least six foot long shot out across 
the kitchen and then all was darkness. I'm 
not a nervous woman, but that's not the 
kind of thing I should care to go through 
often.' " 


gone I can't 
tell you. I'll 
get to the 
It was, 
of course, 
long after 

my foot caught that new trap. Something 
went click and a blue spark at least six 
foot long shot out across the kitchen and 
then all was darkness. I'm not a nervous 
woman, but that's not the kind of thing I 
should care to go through often." 

Mr. Dumphry was now awake and was 
determined to cut his loss. He wrote to 
the secretary of the 
Order to say he declined 
to pay for the Monu- 
mento trap, which was 
apparently constructed 
by an absolute 
ignoramus in electri- 
cal knowledge, that he 

hours, but the electrician whom 
Mr. Dumphry generally em- 
ployed valued his custom and himself 
came up on his motor-bicycle, and in a 
few minutes restored the illumination. 

It was not till next morning when Mrs. 
Dumphry and the cook were in conference 
that the real cause of the accident transpired. 

" I don't hold with electricity and never 
did," said the cook. " In houses where they 
have it, it's not, of course, for me to offer 
any objection. Otherwise it's altogether too 
much touch and go. You never know 
where you have it. Now last night, just 
moving round my kitchen, it happened that 

was wholly dii^satisfied with the way in 
which the Order seemed to be conducted, 
and that he wished his name to be removed 
from the list of members at once. The 
Order could have its Monumento trap back 
again either by calling for it or by enclosing 
sufficient stamps to cover packing and 

He informed his family bitterly that he 
found the whole thing was a swindle. The 
idea of the Order was good and blackguards 
had traded upon it. Apparently the only 
thing the Monumento trap had ever caught 
was himself. He hoped he would hear no 
further allusion to the subject- 



But, after a lapse of time, his letter to 
the secretary was returned to him through 
the Dead Letter Office and he was destined 
to hear one further allusion to it, for that 
evening his friend, Mr. Pierce Eveleigh, 
came round for a smoke and a drink in a 
sardonic frame of mind, induced by dis- 
satisfaction with the selection of the 
English eleven. 

" And apart from that," said Mr. Pierce 
Eveleigh, " I ask myself what we're coming 
to. Dishonesty everywhere. Some weeks 
ago I got a letter from a supposed Order 
of Minor Mercies. The idea itself was 
good enough and yet I could see the whole 
thing was a trick. Next day, happening 
to be in the neighbourhood, I called at their 
office and found that it was merely an 
accommodation address. They were going to 
make me Commander of my district. Four 
guineas, I think it was, I had to pay. 
Obviously a trap." 

" Quite so," said Mr. Dumphry. " A 

Monumento — I mean, monumental trap. 

Glad you had the sense to keep out of it, 



Mr. Dumphry employed a gardener three 
days a week. He was a young man and 
he got married. In due course his wife 
presented him with a daughter. He was a 
good and hard-working gardener, and he 
was a man of very pleasant manners, and 
Mrs. Dumphry thought she ought to do 
something about it. 

" That's all right,", said Ernest. " I've 
no objection to giving him a few shillings." 

" I don't think I need give actual money," 
said Mrs. Dumphry. *' I've no doubt I 
shall be able to find some trifle that we've 
put by." 

And that is how Mr. Dumphry's gardener's 
infant rides about in her pram shamelessly 
adorned with the White Cordon and Crystal 
Jewel of a Commander of the Order of 
Minor Mercies. 


TN my despair I had forgotten these ; 
•*■ The smaller miracles, the flowers, the trees, 
The birds in flight, the sunshine, the sweet air. 
I had neglected these in my despair. 

I had forgotten how the mornings rise 
Brushing the starry worship from their eyes, 
Waking to whisper their rapt ecstasies. 
In my despair I had forgotten these. 

I had forgotten how the sturdy sun 
Lifts up our midnight burdens one by one. 
Charging our blood with passionate strength again. 
I had been blind to the swift joy in pain. 

Is it too late, my Father, for my praise 

To join that fervent worship of Thy ways ? 

Earth's poor dumb things exalt I'hee, though their fate 

Is dark as mine. O God, is it too late ? 






DIGBY HARDING came out of the 
post office at Akatonga, and, paus- 
ing on the verandah, glanced quickly 
through his letters before thrusting them into 
his pocket. His mother's handwriting, as 
usual. She never missed a mail and her 
son appreciated this fact, even if he wished 
occasionally that her letters were in more 
cheerful vein. Business letters next ; then 
one from his sister Elsie ; she wrote now so 
rarely that for some seconds he did not 
recognise her handwriting. More business 
letters — from fruit agents, from his bank, 
from firms enclosing catalogues of all sorts 
of commodities, from seeds to pianolas. 

And a letter from Alys. 

He picked this out and put it on the top 
of the little bundle, to be opened first when 
he was at home and could read at leisure. 
Alys by no means wrote by every mail. 
Sometimes there would come two or three 
notes in a bunch, hastily scrawled, all ejacu- 
lation and penitence for being a bad corre- 
spondent ; then perhaps nothing for many 
weeks. Alys declared she found it so difficult 
to remember to catch a particular boat or 
to post by a particular date. She had to 
write, she explained, when she felt like it, 
and so often, it seemed, she felt like it just 
too late for the outgoing mail to those far- 
off islands in the South Seas. She could 
never get it into her pretty head, smiled 
Digby to himself when these lapses occurred, 
that there was not a daily delivery at Aka- 
tonga ; that for anybody or anything to 
get to this island — the chief of a group of 
islands gleaming emerald and gold on the 
blue waters of the Pacific — they or it had 
first to cross to Australia and then go on 
by steamer from Sydney. 

All this, thought Digby, as he pocketed 
his letters, would now soon be made very 
clear to Alys, for was she not herself to come 
out within a few weeks to be married to him ? 

No doubt, he smiled indulgently, she would 
miss the boat he had carefully chosen and 
recommended to her and would keep him 
waiting at Sydney probably for a couple of 
weeks or more ! But what were a couple of 
weeks, more or less, when he had already 
waited three years ? 

As he came down the verandah steps he 
saw Monica Howard approaching and went 
quickly to meet her. They met beneath the 
wide-spreading frangipanni trees which make 
such a charming avenue along Akatonga's 
main street. Here, particularly at the point 
where the post office and McGrath's big store 
face one another across it, most of the Euro- 
peans of the island met sometime during most 
days of the week, and especially on mail days. 

" I hope you have a good big. mail," said 
Monica, smiling up at him. Monica was by 
no means short, but Harding was a tall per- 
son whose slimness made his height appear 
even greater than it was. Her soft brown 
eyes were full of the sympathetic interest she 
always showed towards his affairs, which by 
now he had come to expect, and which was 
so different from the arch or perfunctory 
interest shown by the other women of the 

He patted his pocket. 

" It looks Al," he replied. 

" I can see by your face," said Monica, 
" that she hasn't missed the boat this time." 

" No ; there's quite a fat letter. I'll be 
along this evening as usual and let you know 
how the arrangements go." 

" I shall be expecting you." 

'* Fm wondering," went on Digby with a 
little laugh but with that tender note in the 
laughter when one jests about the follies of 
those one loves, " if she will miss the boat 
herself when the time comes ! " 

" Oh, surely not ! " exclaimed his com- 
panion. " I refuse, on her behalf, to listen 
to such a suggestion ! " 




They laughed gaily as they parted, and if, 
in the shade of her wide-brimmed hat, the 
laugh quickly died from Monica's eyes and 
soft lips as she turned from him and mounted 
the steps to the post office, Digby knew no- 
thing of it and went happily on his way. 

" As I have remarked before more than 
once," said Mrs. Forbes, the pretty wife of 
the junior doctor, as she stood chatting with 
her particular friend of the moment on the 
verandah of McGrath's store, " those two 
get on together extremely well ! " 

" Now, Rita, none of your scandal-monger- 
ing ! " laughed Mrs. Levitt, the wife of the 
junior postmaster, shaking her head with 
mock reproach at her companion. 

" Oh, rot, my dear ! You told me your- 
self that Digby Harding was always on the 
Howard verandah." 

" I told you he went to play chess with 
the old doctor." 

" I know you did, but you didn't mean he 
went merely for that. And I shouldn't have 
believed you if you had. Of course, he goes 
after Monica ; she is rather pretty, I sup- 
pose — at least Frank declares she is, though 
she's so deadly quiet." 

" Any sort of girl gets run after out here," 
said Mrs. Levitt. " I've often wondered 
why dear Monica hasn't married." 

" I'd be sorry enough to come out to this 
hole to find a husband ! " retorted her com- 
panion. " You may say if you like the men 
run after the girls, but just look at the kind 
of men they are ! But any sort of male 
seems to do for some women." 

" They say," and Mrs. Levitt lowered her 
voice slightly and glanced round to see no 
one was near enough to overhear, " that old 
Stubbs has been after Monica." 

*' That beast ! If that's the sort of chance 
a girl gets out here " 

" Oh, some girl will snap him up thank- 
fully enough before long. He's got a lot of 
money. In some ways it wouldn't have been 
so bad for Monica, after all. She'd have got 
free from that awful drunken old father of 
hers and had a bit of cash to fling away." 

" They say he is getting worse and worse ! " 
and Mrs. Levitt's round blue eyes were full 
of questions as she gazed upon the wife of 
the junior doctor. 

" Frank could say a lot if he chose, of 
course — and so could I. But here's Mrs. 
Leroy coming. She is getting fatter than 
ever ; she might be a native, the way she 
fills out." 

" Rita ! " came in shocked accents from 
her companion. 

" Hullo, you dear old thing," cried the 
irrepressible Mrs. Forbes as the stout com- 
fortable wife of the Akatonga Chief Constable 
laboriously climbed the steps towards them. 

" Why did I ever come back to Akatonga 
so soon ! " exclaimed the latter, wiping her 
damp brow. " It might be the hot weather 

'' Why did any of us come back for another 
two months," cried Mrs. Forbes ; " because 
we're such devoted wives, as I tell Frank." 

" Talking of wives," said Mrs. Leroy, 
beaming upon her companions, " I just 
met Mr. Harding and I do believe we are 
to see the bride at last." 

" W^hat, is his girl really coming out ? " 
asked Mrs. Levitt excitedly. 

" I called out to him," went on Mrs. 
Leroy, " ' What's the news now, got a good 
mail ? ' and he laughed and slapped his 
pocket. So I suppose she really is coming." 

" I'll believe it when I see her," declared 
Mrs. Forbes. 

" Rita ! Don't you believe there is a girl 
at all ? '* 

" Not I ! These girls at home are very 
useful to talk about when a man doesn't 
want to get entangled with anybody out 
here. Just see, for instance, how Mr. Hard- 
ing can play her of! against Monica." 

" You know you don't believe all that," 
said Mrs. Leroy, shaking a fat finger at her, 
"and I won't listen to you. Come in and 
help me buy some curtains." 

" McGrath has got nothing fit to look at," 
declared Mrs. Forbes ; " it's a rotten show, 
these days. Let's all come - along to the 
Southern Pacific and see what they've got." 

The three women made their way down 
into the street through a crowd of shoppers, 
white and native, who, whatever might be 
Mrs. Forbes' opinion of McGrath's, evidently 
found that store satisfactory enough. 
Monica, coming from the post office, met 
them in the avenue. They would have de- 
tained her in gossip, as they detained so many 
whenever opportunity offered, but she re- 
turned their greetings somewhat hurriedly 
and passed on. 

" What did I tell you 1 " said Mrs. Forbes. 
" If Harding likes to pretend there's a girl 
coming out and to be pleased about it, Monica 
isn't pleased." 

" Nonsense, my dear," replied Mrs. Leroy 
comfortably ; '' she's got more sense than 
to fret about any young man. It's her worry 
about her father that makes her look so 
tired — and this awful heat. Oh, why did 
I come back so soon ! " and she again mopped 



her brow and then fanned herself with her 
big palm-leaf fan. 

Monica walked slowly homewards. Mail 
days did not mean for her what they meant 
for so many of the white residents — the 
arrival of little packets of letters from numer- 
ous friends, bundles of papers and magazines 
from " home," books, gifts, photographs 
and other reminders, if such were needed, 

of that, mail days usually meant a pleasant 
break in the monotony of her life. She 
enjoyed the animated scene when the shore 
boats brought the visitors from the steamers, 
and the pretty high street saw an incongruous 
but picturesque mingling of sailors and tour- 
ists, natives and residents. But to-day she 
passed all this by listlessly. Her thoughts 
were with the man from whom she had 
parted a short time back 
beneath the frangipanni trees, 
whom she would soon see 
again, whom she saw nearly 
every night and yet whom 
she could never see too fre- 
quently. For long she had 
pretended to herself that 
this was not so, but 
now she had been 
brought to ack- 
nowledge the 
truth to her- 
self. And she 
had upbraided 
herself bitterly 

** * Whatever you like I'm 
sure she will,' he asserted, 
and notliing Monica could 
say would shake this con- 

of their link with the big outer world. There 
was rarely any mail for her or her father. 
He had been cast off by their few relatives 
in England long since, and there was only 
a girl friend, met at school in Melbourne 
and now married and living in a remote part 
of Queensland, who now and again, chiefly 
on birthdays or other festivals, wrote her 
a letter. To-day there had not been even 
that, and empty-handed she had come away 
from the post office. Never had she been 
able to accustom herself altogether to the 
absence of any mail for her, but in spite 

as she had done so. He was to be married, 
married to that girl from home about whom 
he had told her so much, whose letter he now 
had with him saying, no doubt, that she was 
leaving at once to meet him at Sydney, A 
month from now and he would have a wife 
at Akatonga and she would see him no more, 
no more, that is, on the old terms of inti- 
macy. Of course, he would not think it 
meant the end of their friendship, but Monica 
knew. Try as she would to like Digby's 



wife, she felt sure she would not be able to 
do so. What kind of girl could she be, she 
had w^ondered indignantly many a time, who 
could leave her lover to live his lonely life 
in that far-off island because she would not 
make up her mind to forsake the allurements 
and excitements of a big city ? Of course, 
the girl had not put it in that way, nor did 
Digby suspect it. He said she was so 
young ; she had been such a child when they 
met and loved one another, and she was, 
moreover, so childlike and so gay. Digby, 
Monica knew, never ceased to marvel that 
he, some eight years the senior aiid slow and 
serious, as he regarded himself, should have 
won the love of such a dainty young creature. 
He therefore had never had any criticism 
when only the previous cold weather Alys 
had suddenly changed her mind about being 
married that year. Everything had been 
arranged and Digby was to leave for home 
in a week to fetch her, when there came 
first a cable of postponement and then a 
letter. Alys had been ill, said the letter, 
and the doctor declared she must not risk 
a tropical climate for some months to come. 
The letter further, so Digby had explained, 
forbade him to go home then, for she was 
rapidly getting better and he must not go to 
all that expense just to see how she was. 
He must put the money aside for the next 
cold weather, when of course she would come 
out, but it would be silly for her to attempt 
to come till then. Digby had taken her at 
her word and not gone home (England was 
" home " to Monica, although she never went 
there or saw any prospect of doing so), for 
though his plantation was prospering he was 
still but young at the work and could not 
afford to incur unnecessary expense. 

The girl from home was coming out this 
cold weather. Of late she had been, as 
Monica had to admit, unusually considerate 
of her lover, even though she did occasionally 
miss a mail. Would she, Monica, miss a 
mail, she thought to herself, and especially 
when the lover to be written to was such a 
one as Digby Harding ? Well she knew she 
would have studied the goings and comings 
of the steamers so that the dates for posting 
her precious letters should stand out above all 
other dates as if written in fire ! 

Meanwhile Digby had finished his business 
in the settlement, had flung his bundle of 
home papers and magazines into his Ford and 
swung along home, up the frangipanni ave- 
nue, bumping along the rutted weedy track at 
the end which was dignified by the title of 
road though it deserved no such distinction, 

till he came to the gate in the neat coffee 
hedge which bordered his compound. Half 
a dozen little native children, rolling about 
among the thick coarse grass and weeds of 
the track, rushed to open the gate before 
his own native boy could come scuttling 
down the drive, and he passed swiftly up 
the tiny avenue of paw-paw trees,- left the 
car in its primitive garage of thatch and 
bamboo laths, and then flung himself into 
his big wicker chair on the verandah of his 
whitewashed bungalow. He lit his pipe 
and turned to his correspondence. 

Alys first, of course. He had waited for 
this moment with eagerness, yet now he held 
the letter within his fingers he felt an inex- 
plicable reluctance to open it. . . . Shy- 
ness, he supposed, but how absurd. He 
opened it with sudden haste. 

Yes, she was coming. 

It was indeed a budget this time, page 
after page of her sprawling handwriting with 
its usual decoration of erasures and exclama- 
tions and underlinings and its addition of 
half a dozen postscripts. It was a gay letter. 
She was really, really tjoming this time, and 
of course her dear old Dig wasn't to worry 
a bit because he couldn't fetch her. It was 
all her fault for being so stupidly ill the 
previous year when he had made such lovely 
arrangements. She quite understood that 
it wasn't so easy this year to make them all 
over again. They would have a lovely long 
honeymoon in Australia, as he suggested. 
She had been at once to book her passage t>n 
the boat he had mentioned and the shipping 
clerk had been just lovely in helping her and 
making everything quite plain. She and her 
mother and sisters and cousins and friends had. 
been shopping every day and all day till al- 
ready she was nearly worn out. She was hav- 
ing heaps of presents and lots of them cheques, 
because friends didn't know what to get for 
a tropical island. She spent most of the 
cheques — there was such a crowd of things 
to get — but she was keeping back one or 
two to spend in Sydney. Her friends told 
her she hadn't bought nearly enough pots 
and pans and things. It would be such 
fun to shop with her dear Dig and buy 
coffee-pots and mops and potato-peelers — 
if, that is, they would ever want potato- 
peelers on the island, and wouldn't eat 
their potatoes raw, with the peel on ! And 
wasn't it huge fun to think she was to 
come out to a coco-nut island and would 
they have to drink coco-nuts for dinner, and 
if so she hoped there was more milk, or 
whatever the stuff inside them was called. 



in them than there was in the nuts one 
got on Hampstead Heath. She had been 
there on Easter Monday, for a lark, with 
some friends, to see how the mob enjoyed 
themselves. Had he ever done that 1 And 
some of the boys with them (her dear old Dig 
needn't be jealous — they were merely kids) 
had thrown balls at coco-nuts and had got 
some and they had opened them and drunk 
the stuff because her friends told her she 
must get used to it. 

Just like Alys ! He looked up from the 
gay letter and gazed round him. What 
would it be like to have that lively pretty 
child running about his house and compound. 
Would she like island life, he wondered, as 
he had so often w:ondered before. He did, 
of course, but lots of white women didn't. 
Monica Howard did — but then Monica was 
altogether different from other women. 
What a splendid thing it was that Alys 
should find such a woman waiting to l3e 
her friend, and what a relief it was to him 
to reflect that she would always be near to 
help him make life pleasant for the little 
bride come so far from home and friends to 
make a home for him. Now he knew for 
certain she was coming he must see about 
getting his house ready. How glad Monica 
would be to know, and how interested to 
advise him in preparing his house for its 

With this happy prospect before him he 
could afford to smile indulgently over the 
somewhat tepid congratulations from his 
mother and sister. His mother, he knew, 
never had approved of Alys. She had 
declared her to be too " flighty." But a 
mother, reflected Digby, rarely approved a 
son's choice of a wife, or so he had heard. 
She now wrote that she was glad Alys had 
made up her mind to take up her duties and 
be married, and she, Mrs. Harding, could 
only hope her dear son was making plenty 
of money, for she was afraid he would find 
his wife extravagant. His sister had always 
liked Alys — till the previous year, when, she 
declared — and this had brought about a 
coolness between brother and sister — Alys 
had not been ill at all, or not so ill but that 
she could have married Digby if she had 
liked. She was, however, said Elsie indig- 
nantly, nothing but a heartless flirt, and 
Digby would do well to break off the engage- 
ment. She had never apologised for this 
opinion or recanted, but had written now 
and again to her brother without any refer- 
ence to Alys. Now she wrote assuring him 
of her best wishes, but adding that Alys was 

still a shocking flirt. However, flirts often 
made good wives once they settled down, so 
she hoped for the best. She would not, 
however, send any wedding gift till she heard 
of the actual marriage. 

Digby put her letter aside light-heartedly. 
His sister was many years older than Alys, a 
very capable mistress of her house and the 
mother of five children. What should such 
a matron understand of the gay childlikeness 
of an Alys ? 

He entered his sitting-room and stood 
before the big portrait of Alys which hung 
there. How young she looked, with her 
tumbling curling hair, her wide appealing 
eyes and pretty pouting mouth turned 
towards the onlooker as if asking indulg- 
ence and petting. He picked up a book 
of snapshots sent out from home, mainly 
of Alys ; Alys on the tennis court, peer- 
ing saucily from over the top of her 
racquet (Digby wondered if she could 
really play tennis yet ? He doubted if she 
would ever be much good at it) ; Alys, in a 
distractingly pretty frock, reposing in a punt, 
glancing provocatively from beneath a Jap- 
anese sunshade ; Alys perched behind a youth 
on a- motor bicycle, her dainty limbs clothed 
in stiff leather coat and knickers, a cap drawn 
tightly over her curls ; Alys in fancy dress 
ready for a dance, as a geisha, a Turkish 
lady, an apache, and — one that Digby could 
never quite approve — a ballet dancer : Alys 
astride a fence among a string of boys, 
waving her hat hilariously ; Alys suddenly 
demure, standing before a kitchen table, 
posing as a housewife — though Digby well 
knew she could not cook a thing and never 
intended to learn. 

How could he hope that the life he had 
to offer could satisfy such a gay pretty young 
creature ! Rangi came in to set the table 
for his supper and his anxiety about Alys 
was heavy upon him as he sat down to the 
tinned soup, the plain chop and boiled sweet 
potato, the boiled rice and milk and the 
eternal banana and paw-paw which made 
up his supper six days out of the seven. 
It had all satisfied him completely, the food 
prepared by the willing if unimaginative 
Rangi, the bare cool sitting-room with little 
in it but a table, a small bureau with a few 
bookshelves, and a couple of chairs, its floor 
spread with a native mat ; the bedroom in 
its simple fittings ; the cook-house at the 
back where Rangi and her husband ruled ; 
the primitive wash-place where he had fixed 
up a zinc bath and a shower ; the wide 
verandahs of his house given up at the back 



to Bangi and her household duties, but on 
two sides looking into his well cleared coco- 
nut plantations, and at the front overlooking 
the garden he had cultivated so painstakingly 
for Alys and the pretty avenue of tufted 

He liked it all — loved it, he might say. 
And Monica loved it, he knew. She had 
never wanted him to fill the house with 
fussy little decorations as had other of his 
women acquaintances. But Alys — how 
could it be expected to satisfy her ? She 
was so different from Monica, accustomed, 
of course, to so different a life. His memory 
went back to his visits to Alys's home and in 
retrospect it seemed to him all hangings and 
festoons and tassels and footstools . He recol- 
lected how he had stumbled about the over- 
furnished drawing-room like a bull in a 
china-shop and how Alys had rallied him 
and called him " a dear clumsy old savage." 
He had even seen her own room, for Alys 
prided herself on being very modern and 
had few reticences. That also had appeared 
to him a bower of lace and ribbons, photo- 
graphs and odds and ends of silverware and 
enamel on little tables, the floor crowded 
by more footstools, as he called them, but 
which Alys had laughingly declared to be 
** pouf " ottomans, blowing the word '' pouf '* 
at him daintily as if blowing a toy balloon. 

He refused the coffee Rangi brought. It 
came out of a tin, as so many things did on 
the island, and was like thin treacle. Monica 
would give him coffee worth the name. 
What a comfort it was, he reflected, as a 
little later he got out his car again and 
went bumping back along the overgrown 
road, to have such a capable, sympathetic 
friend to turn to ! 


He found Monica seated in her low chair on 
the verandah, as usual, in the lamplight. 
But for once her hands lay idle in her lap, 
the fine needlework in which she delighted 
tossed on to the table. He caught sight of 
her before she heard him, for his step was 
inaudible on the thick coarse grass which 
overran Dr. Howard's compound. She was 
staring out at the sea which lay dark and 
mysterious before her, for even the belt of 
tossing surf on the reef showed but dimly 
in the thick misty night. He thought she 
looked troubled and tired ; so unlike her. 
Perhaps there was fresh cause for anxiety 
in regard to her father. 

As he came towards her along the veran- 
dah, however, the weariness and sadness dis- 

appeared, and he thought quickly how sweet 
and sympathetic a nature was hers that she 
could thus banish at once her private sorrows 
to give a cheerful welcome to her friends. 
But she must not be permitted to be the only 
sympathetic one. 

*' There is no new trouble with the 
doctor ? " he asked earnestly, as he threw 
himself into his accustomed chair opposite 

" No, nothing," she replied, and seemed 
surprised by the question. 

" It was only I thought you looked tired 
and a bit worried as I came up." 

She turned her face aside an instant. 

" I am certainly a little tired," she then 
replied, smiling at him with her old tran- 
quillity and taking up her needlework. " It 
has been so close to-day, as if a storm was 
brewing, don't you think ? And yet no rain 

He was relieved. 

" Yes, it has been close. And, you know, 
you do stick at your work so. Look at 
you now — you're always at something." 

She held up the piece of linen she was 

*' This is not work ; this is amusement. 
And I hope you admire it, for I think of 
bestowing it on you as part, let us say, of 
my wedding gift. And now tell me your 
news — when will it be wanted ? Is every 
thing settled ? " 

" Yes ; she is coming out next month. 
She is sailing on the Prince Arthur, and 
I shall leave here by the Takapuna to meet 

There appeared to be a knot or other hin- 
drance in her work, for Monica suddenly 
bent over it, but the next moment she was 
giving him all her interest again. 

" That's splendid news. So now you 
will have to be very busy getting the house 

" Yes ; but you are going to help me, 
aren't you ? I shan't know what to do, 
left to myself." 

" I will do what I can, but I do not see 
that it can be much. All the details must be 
left to your wife." 

" So you always say, but you know she 
has told me to fit it up as I think best. At 
any rate, I've got to have the walls lime- 
washed afresh and the woodwork painted 
and new covers for cushions and that sort 
of thing, and pots and pans for the cook- 
house. You'll help me with all that, w^on't 
you ? " 

He looked so perplexed by her apparent 



reluctance and so troubled that Monica 
felt bound to say she would. But how 
blind men were, she thought. She was 
well aware, though she knew he was not, 
of the gossip occasioned by their friendship. 
She knew that not only Mrs. Forbes and her 
intimates but the natives who worked about 
Digby's plantation and about her own home 
assumed that one day she was to marry Mr. 
Harding. Only she, it seemed, was aware 
that to Digby she was nothing more than 
a friend, such as Mrs. Forbes might have 
been, or, as the idea of that 
lively lady as the innocent friend 
of a young man was far-fetched, 
say Mrs. Leroy, fat, comfortable 
and middle-aged. 

" I don't know what I should 
do without you," her- companion 
was saying gratefully. 

a place one doesn't know, doesn't it — but 
anyway, as I am I can sympathise with 
anybody who has more cause to feel it." 

" I wish you could go to England," said 
Digby, " and I'd love to be there with you. 
There are so many places I'd like to show 

" I'm afraid it isn't at all likely that I 

What's all this about Harding doing up his place and buying a lot of fal-lals ? ' asked Dr. Howard as they 
drove away. . . . ' He is going to be married, that's all.' " 

" What a tremendous thing it will be for 
Alys to have you as a friend also. I'm 
afraid she'll be very lonely and homesick." 
" Not for long," smiled Monica reassur- 
ingly ; *' we shall do what we can to make 
her happy and amused. Do you know that 
'^.ven I am homesick sometimes ? " 
" Why do you say * even ' you ? " 
'" Because I have never yet been to Eng- 
land, save as a tiny child, which doesn't 
count. It seems foolish to be homesick for 

shall ever go," she replied lightly, " unless," 
and she glanced over at him with a little 
smile, " when you retire from island life 
you go home to live and you and — and 
your wife will ask me to visit you." 

" Of course we will, when we go. But 
that's such a long time ahead. I know a 
better plan. I shall have to send Alys 
home for a holiday pretty often, of course 
— white women can't be expected to stop 
in the islands for long without a break, can 



they ? You do it, but then you're so 
different. When Alys goes to England for 
a holiday, why shouldn't you go with her ? 
It's a fine idea.'* 

He looked so delighted with his plan that 
Monica could only appear delighted with it 

The talk drifted again to the preparation 
of the house. 

** You'll have to come and look it over 
with me," declared Digby, " and just see 
what really does need doing." 

" Father has to come and see old Tanga 
to-morrow," said Monica, " and I will drive 
up with him." 

Dr. Howard, returning from the house 
of Tom Henty, the half-caste, with whom 
he spent far too much of his time, drinking 
anything he could get, from native bush beer 
to Scotch whisky, heard Digby's voice, and 
coming out to them demanded the usual 
game of chess, and all talk of Alys ceased 
for the time being. . ' . . 

The old doctor set his daughter down at 
the gate of Digby's compound the next day, 
and Digby, coming hastily out to greet her, 
found her gazing after her father a little 
anxiously as he drove on to visit his native 

" Father has been drinking heavily," she 
said, turning to Digby, " and he is not fit to 
see any patient. I tried to get him to stop 
at home, but he wouldn't." 

*' Don't worry on behalf of old Tanga," 
said Digby reassuringly. *' I don't suppose 
there's anything worse with him than too 
much tinned beef and too much bad beer 
to wash it down. There's been no end of 
feasting among his people this week — two 
weddings and a funeral." 

*' I'm so afraid," and she gazed a little 
piteously into her companion's face, " that 
one day he may make a mistake when he 
has been drinking." 

" Don't let yourself think that." Digby 
put his hand on her arm. So often she 
had given him sympathy ; how glad he was 
now that she turned to him for consolation 
ia her own anxieties. " It's wonderful," he 
went on, as they walked slowly towards the 
house, " how doctors keep their doctoring 
apart from anything else — anybody who 
went through the war could tell you 

" Yes, I suppose so." 

His hand was still protectingly on her 
arm and for a moment or two Monica sur- 
rendered herself to the bliss of the contact. 

Then she withdrew herself and smiled up at 

" But this isn't what I came for. I dare 
say I am making trouble where none really 
exists. Poor Daddy, it isn't the first time 
he has done that sort of thing. I won't 
think about it. Now for the bride's house." 
She looked up at the arch of the paw-paws 
over them. " How Alys will love this pretty 
avenue. I wonder how she will like paw- 
paw to eat ? I must show her lots of ways 
to prepare them, mustn't I ? " And she 
laughed, though to a discerning ear there 
was a tremulous note in the gaiety. 

" She is no cook," laughed Digby in 
response, " unless she has altered a great 
deal. I don't suppose she will be like you, 
for instance." 

"Oh, I! But I've had such a lot of 
experience. You must get her a good cook, 
then. Tom Henty's daughter-in-law might 
be induced to come ; she isn't bad as cooks 
go here. I'll speak to her if you like." 

" As I have said several hundred times," 
exclaimed Digby gratefully, "whatever 
should I do without you ? " 

They went over the big airy bungalow. 
Digby was for dead white walls, the prevail- 
ing colour of houses in the bush, but agreed 
at once when Monica suggested instead a 
soft cream as more likely to please Alys. 

" Whatever you like I'm sure she will," 
he asserted, and nothing Monica could say 
would shake this conviction, whether it 
concerned the fresh paint for the woodwork, 
the pattern of the silk for the new cushion 
covers, the colour of the lampshades or the 
shape of the new chairs for the verandah. 

" Your own home is so comfortable," 
declared Digby ; "when she sees that Alys 
will understand at once why I was determined 
to get your help with this." 

" My own home ! " exclaimed Monica ; 
" but it's so shabby, the furniture falling to 
pieces, the paint peeling off the floor " 

" Say what you like," interrupted her 
companion, " it's the most comfortable house 
in Akatonga. You've got the gift of home- 

He was called away by one of his labour 
boys and Monica remained in the sitting- 
room alone for a few minutes. She looked 
round and though for the past hour she had 
been discussing the alterations to be made in 
the place, she yet could not realise that in 
a few weeks the whole house would bear 
the impress of another and strange, and, 
as she felt, unsympathetic, personality. She 
turned over the leaves of the photo album. 



It was jealousy, no doubt, she told herself, 
vulgar jealousy, which she so much despised 
in others, that made her feel that the girl 
pictured there in so many varieties of dress 
and pose was a silly little creature 1 Her 
brown eyes had an unusual hardness in 
them as they looked down into the big round 
eyes of the bride laughing out from the 
pages. Then she looked up to stare at her 
own reflection in the mirror above the table. 
So tall and grave and old did she look, she 
thought. No wonder men turned to her • 
only for a sedate and safe friendship. She 
wondered wistfully what that grave face 
and those serious eyes would be like if only 
she could be care-free and gay like Alys. 
She longed to be happy and to laugh. There 
had been occasions when for a while she had 
been able to forget her anxieties about her 
father, when the " girl from home " seemed 
likely to pass out of Digby's life. Then she 
had laughed and been gay, and by the look 
in Digby's eyes and the admiration evident 
among other men of the white colony, she 
knew that happiness and laughter became 
her. But those occasions were all too scarce. 
Dr. Howard had been more and more difficult 
of late. No one came to the house now save 
one or two men of tastes like his own — 
excepting, of course, Digby Harding, whom 
he welcomed because of his ability at the 
old doctor's favourite game. The doctor 
was never invited anywhere, for who could 
invite such a guest ? He in his turn derided 
those who criticised him and forbade Monica 
to visit among them. Anxious as she was 
to keep him from Tom Henty and other 
undesirable company, Monica had acquiesced 
in this isolation, rather than oppose him. 

And now on the top of all this the girl 
from home really was coming. How Monica 
had longed, when time after time the girl 
had missed the mail, that after all she would 
never come, that the breach between her and 
Digby which the lapses sometimes caused, 
would never be bridged. And then she had 
hated and despised herself for the longing. 
The breach had always been bridged. She 
shut up the book of photographs and pushed 
it away from her. Girls like Alys were 
forgiven anything, even by men like Digby 
Harding. She, Monica, the dull, the serious, 
was useful as a friend, but for gaiety and 
happiness and beauty he turned to an Alys. 
She went out on to the verandah just as 
her father had brought his car to a stop at 
Digby's gate. It had not seemed to Monica 
that her heart could be more heavy, but fear 
settled upon her as well as heaviness when 

she saw that he had been drinking again. 
Tanga's wife, no doubt, anxious to please 
him, had given him some of the native 
beer at the making of which Tanga, the old 
reprobate, was such an adept. He was 
inclined to be quarrelsome, was arguing 
with Digby, and when he saw her, shouted 
irritably to her to make haste. If only, 
she thought as she crossed the compound, 
her father could be induced to leave Aka- 
tonga. But life there was easy and suited 
him, despite the fact, now being more and 
more made clear to him, that those of his 
own race looked askance at him and even 
the natives were showing a certain aversion 
from him. Sometimes Monica even found 
herself wishing that the authorities would 
have him recalled. The disgrace would be 
great, she knew, and would mean more to 
her father than he at all realised now, but 
at any rate they would leave the island. 
Out in the world nobody would know any- 
thing of them ; they could easily live down 
the disgrace, and she would be free of the 
agony of watching the man she loved happy 
with another woman. And then after 
dwelling on such a prospect she would upbraid 
herself for selfishness. 

" What's all this about Harding doing up 
his place and buying a lot of fal-lals ? " 
asked Dr. Howard as they drove away. 

*' I suppose Tanga's wife has been talk- 

" What if she has ? Is it a secret, then ? 
What's he up to ? " 

*' It is no secret. He is going to be mar- 
ried, that's all." 

" Whom to ? " 

" Father, you've heard a hundred times." 

" First it's this one and then it's that " 

" Not with Mr. Harding," interposed his 
daughter quickly. 

" Why not ! Well, who is it ? " 

*' The girl from home, of course — ^Alys 

'' Humph ! And that'll be the end of 
my chess, I suppose," grumbled the doctor. 

But though he grumbled about this iuss 
he was relieved that he had not to suffer 
a greater loss. Tom Henty had hinted that 
young Harding had his eye on Monica. 
But what could he, the doctor, have done 
without her ? 


The house was ready for the bride and the 
bridegroom had gone to meet her. 

** All I can say is," exclaimed Mrs. Forbes 
to Mrs. Levitt as they strolled beneath the 



frangipanni trees one morning, a few days 
after Digby's departure, " that after doing 
up his house to suit Monica Howard, the 
least he could have done was to ask her to 
live in it.'' 

*' H'sh ! " said Mrs. Levitt, glancing round, 
" what things you say, Kita ! I only told 
you — for I overheard his Rangi telling my 
Akra — that because Monica liked cream for 
walls he decided to have it " 

" And also," interrupted Mrs. Forbes, in 
no whit repressed, " to have lampshades and 
bedspreads and pianos and pots and pans 
and everything else as she liked them ! 
Oh, I haven't heard it only from you, my 
dear ! Doesn't everyone know ? " 

*' It's very hard on her having to help 
prepare a house for another woman." 

" Perhaps she thought she might get it 
after all ! " 

" Oh no, Rita. Monica isn't that sort of 

'* I'm sure I shouldn't blame her if she 

'' Whose character are you taking away 
now ? " asked her husband, joining them 
at the foot of the steps to McGrath's store. 

*' Don't tell us we talk scandal," retorted 
his wife pertly, " and give yourself airs of 
superiority. You men do the same when 
you get together. Not that I blame you. 
There's nothing else to do in this hole." 

" I wonder how the new bride will like 
Akatonga," remarked Dr. Forbes. 

" As much as we all do ! " 

** Oh, Rita," said Mrs. Levitt, " poor Dr. 
Forbes will feel so uncomfortable if you talk 
like that after getting you to come out." 

" She doesn't know what island life really 
means," said the doctor easily, smiling at 
his pretty pouting wife. " She is away all 
through the hot weather and spends the whole 
of the winter dancing, flirting and gossiping." 

" We can't all be Monica Howards ! " 
retorted his wife with a toss of her head, 
" and sit like Patience or somebody or other 
on a monument smiling at whatever it was 
she did smile at." 

'* She's a good sort, Monica," said her 
husband ; " some fellow ought to have 
jumped at the chance of getting her long 

" Several have jumped, so they say," 
remarked Mrs. Levitt, " but not the right 

" Not the right one, you mean," said Mrs. 

" Harding was a fool," said Dr. Forbes. 

" Now she has lost him I suppose she will 

waste the rest of her life on that awful 

father of hers " began Mrs. Levitt, when 

she noted a native youth approach their 
group, then stop hesitatingly, gaze at the 
doctor and look round again uncertainly. 
He was evidently anxious to attract the doc- 
tor's attention but shy of interrupting him. 
*' There's* someone wants you/' she added. 

The doctor turned and the youth stepped 
up to him. 

'' Tanga very sick," he said ; "he tell 
me to come and say he want you ; you come 

" Tanga ! " repeated Dr. Forbes. *' Old 
Tanga up at Atea ? " 

" Yes," replied the lad, and repeated, 
^' he very sick, you come quick." 

" But Dr. Howard will come to Tanga 

The youth interrupted earnestly : 

*' No ; Tanga say he no want Dr. Howard 
no more ; he no come when Tanga want ; 
now Tanga say " 

Dr. Forbes motioned him away from the 
proximity of the people passing in and out 
of the busy store. He was seen to be talking 
with him for a few seconds. Then the 
messenger departed with obvious reluctance 
and the doctor went hastily in the direction 
of his house. 

" What does that mean ! " exclaimed his 
wife to Mrs. Levitt. 

*' I know the old man has been very ill 

" But send for Frank ! Why, up till now 
the old creature wouldn't look at him ; he 
was one of the old guard who would have 
no one but Dr. Howard." 

" Perhaps he's been disobeying orders, 
eating stuff he shouldn't — you know what 
they are, my dear — and doesn't like to face 
Dr. Howard." 

" What is more likely is that the old 
doctor was too drunk to attend to him or 
forgot to go and Tanga has got frightened 
and now won't have him." 

" H'sh," cautioned her companion, glanc- 
ing round ; " Rita, you are so indiscreet." 

They parted, Mrs. Forbes curious to get 
home and glean what information she could. 
Before night it was known throughout the 
island that part of her surmise was true. 
Tanga, and still more Tanga 's wife, said 
that Dr. Howard had promised to come at 
a certain hour and bring fresh medicine. He 
had not come nor had he sent the medicine, 
and at the hour when he should have been 
at Tanga 's bedside he had been seen in 
Tom Henty's shack, drunk and dead to the 


world. Tanga was now very sick ; he had 
not had his medicine and of course he would 
die, and it would be the fault of Dr. Howard. 
Dr. Howard, sobered suddenly by the 
incident, turned bleared defiant eyes upon 
questioners. He did not deny that he had 
been drunk in Tom Henty's shack and had 
altogether forgotten Tanga. But he denied 
that Tanga was seriously ill. If he had 
been, he, the doctor, would not have for- 
gotten about him. If the old fool of a 
native was worse it was not for lack of the 
physic but because he had been eating 


pig freshly boiled, declared Tanga 's wife 
indignantly, and a sip of beer, could hurt no 
one, and in any case, if they had made Tanga 
a little sick, it was the doctor's business to 
be there and give him the medicine which 
would have made everything all right again. 
And Tanga's brothers and sisters and 
• b r o thers- 
in-law ^ _ 

and sis- 
ter s - i n- 
law and 

" ' I wonder how the new bride will like Akatonga,' remarked Dr. Forbes. 
'As much as we all do ! ' 'Oh, Rita,' said Mrs. Levitt, 'poor Dr. Forbes 
will feel so uncomfortable if you talk like that after getting you to come out.' " 

pork and drinking a lot of bush beer at a 
moment when such things were very bad 
for him and had been forbidden. 

Tanga did not die, but this in no wise 
checked the turn of the tide of native favour 
against their old favourite. It was not so 
much the old doctor's forgetfulness that 
influenced it perhaps — for this was by no 
means the first instance of it — as Tanga's 
resentment at the charges about the pork 
and the beer. The fact that the charges 
were true made no difference. A bit of fresh 

and relatives to the second and third and 
further degrees, sitting round his verandahs, 
raised their voices in hearty agreement. 

Tanga of Atea was a chief, and though 
chiefs nowadays retain little of their old 
supremacy, they can still wield a certain in- 
fluence and his disaffection cost Dr. Howard 
the favour of many others who till then had 
believed in him. 

The authorities were loth to take action 
against the old doctor, but his conduct could 
no longer be ignored. Dr. Howard, however, 



did not wait for such action. He resigned 
his position within a few days of Tanga's 
rejection of him. In spite of the official in- 
dulgence towards hini; he knew he had long 
exhausted his credit with those of his own 
race, and now it was exhausted also with 
the natives, among whom he had lived for so 
many years in comfort and easy-going friend- 
liness. Broken, dejected, silent, and sunk 
too often in drunkenness, he sat about the 
shabby bungalow by the lagoon, while 
Monica made hasty preparations for leaving 
Akat'jnga by the next steamer going to 
Australia, due in a couple of weeks. She 
wished it had been a couple of days only, 
for life seemed unendurable. It was true 
she was at last to leave the island. She 
would be spared the home-coming of Digby 
Harding and his bride. But the price of 
freedom had been terribly heavy, and as 
she looked at her father she thought that, 
difficult as life on the old terms had been, 
it would have been preferable. He would 
say nothing as to future plans. The outer 
world held nothing for him. For hours he 
sat on the verandah in a stupor, half drunk- 
enness, half misery, staring with his little 
bleared eyes over the blue and gold waters 
of the southern seas which washed the shores 
of his beloved islands. 

But the old doctor had not to face an alien 
world. He was to finish his life where for 
so long he had lived it. He contracted a 
chill and would take no care of himself or 
permit Monica to care for him. What was 
life to him now that he should try to prolong 
it ? A few days before the arrival of the 
ship that was to take him and Monica away 
he died, and was buried in the cemetery 
by the big mission church, just when the 
cool trade winds began to stir among the 
trees and pinch the frangipanni and the 
oleanders so that the graves were strewn 
with their fallen ivory and crimson blossoms. 

Meantime Digby Harding had reached 
Sydney. He had started from Akatonga 
in some elation, the good wishes of many 
friends showered upon him, but prominent 
in his memory the soft pressure of Monica's 
hands as for an instant she had held his in 
both hers, uttering kind words to him and 
messages for his bride. But he had been at 
first surprised and then disconcerted to find 
that the nearer he drew to Australia, and 
so to Alys, the less pronounced became the 
elation. Indeed, depression came over him 
at times that was altogether unaccountable. 
He felt he was going to meet a stranger. 
Alys ! It seemed to him he hardly knew 

her. It was three years since they had 
met. He had a bundle of her letters with 
him. He would take them out and re-read 
portions and then for a while his spirits 
would revive, only to sink again as the ship's 
daily records indicated that they were another 
few hundred miles further from Akatonga 
and nearer Sydney. He had a ridiculous 
— so he described it to himself — longing to 
find Monica waiting for him on the wharf 
at Sydney. With her by his side he felt 
he could meet Alys happily enough. 

He concluded, as he had done once before 
while still at Akatonga, that he was suffer- 
ing from shyness. Alys was so much younger 
than he and he was shy of her youth and 
strangeness and shrinking perhaps from the 
responsibility of taking her happiness into 
his keeping. Annoyed by his reflections, 
wearied by his alternating excitement and 
depression, Tie avoided thought as much as 
possible by throwing himself into all the 
ship's gaieties and making himself too weary 
to do anything when he retired to his bunk 
but go at once to sleep. 

At Sydney he found he had two days to 
wait for the Prince Arthur, and alone at his 
hotel the depression overcame him again. 
He had various acquaintances in the city, but 
not all his attempts to banish it by being 
with other people were quite successful. 
He wished he could have occupied himself 
by making preparations, for the wedding 
trip, but as yet he did not know whether 
they were to go north of Sydney to the hills 
or take ship for Fiji or Samoa. Now was 
the season for going among the islands, as 
he had pointed out to Alys. But she would 
decide nothing ; indeed, she had left it all 
to her " dear old Dig " to decide. This was 
no doubt docile of her, but he found himself 
wishing she had expressed some opinion. 
He caught himself thinking impatiently of 
her constant airy references to " dear old 
Dig." It was not altogether sweet acquies- 
cence which led her to leave everything to 
him. She could not give her mind to any- 
thing for more than fiYQ minutes ! He only 
hoped she had caught the boat and wouldn't 
be satisfied to let her " dear old Dig " wait 
about in Sydney for some three weeks or 
more. A little wilfulness, a touch of irre- 
sponsibility was charming enough, no doubt ; 
even Monica displayed it at times and it 
became her delightfully. But there were 
occasions when a woman, and especially one 
about to be married, should know her own 
mind. Monica, now, would never leave a 
fellow in an awkward position. He supposed 



that if Alys did miss the boat she would 
merely cable that she would be along in a 
month or two ! 

He shook himself metaphorically. Was 
this the proper attitude for a lover who was 
to be a bridegroom in a few hours ? 

It was a gloriously bright sunny morning 
when he went down to meet the Prince 
Arthur from Southampton. The waters of 
the beautiful harbour were deeply blue be- 
neath a cloudless sky. The air was warm 
but with that dry warmth which was almost 
invigorating to one from the damp warmth 
of Akatonga. But though summer seemed 
hardly yet to have left, there had been a 
good deal of rain, a foretaste of winter, and 
fresh green was beginning to cover the aridity 
of the sun-baked hillsides, and the gardens 
of the villas glowed with green lawns and 
gay flowers. The lively city looked very 
sprightly and sparkling that morning and 
yet Digby walked through it uninfluenced, 
a prey to yet another recurrence of his 
unaccountable depression. 

The Prince Arthur was coming slowly to 
her dock, stately and white and elegant. 
Digby levelled his glasses. There were a 
number of pretty girls among the crowd 
lining the rails but he did not recognise 
Alys. A momentary dismay seized him. 
Suppose he did not recognise her after three 
years ! Then he brushed the thought aside. 
A bride and bridegroom not to recognise 
one another — ^why, it would be like a farce 
on the stage. Until the gates were opened 
and friends permitted to pass through he 
stood with his glasses trained on the upper 
decks. But still no one in the least resem- 
bling Alys was to be seen. If she was on 
board she must surely be somewhere among 
those crowds. She was not one to sit 
quietly in the background. Perhaps, how- 
ever, she was ill. Some people, of course, 
were not able to come on deck till the ship 
was actually at a standstill. It was, how- 
ever, contrary to all his ideas of Alys that 
she should be one of them. Rather had 
he pictured her at home from stem to stern 
from the moment she went on board, as 
gaily and saucily intimate with the winds 
and waves and buffets of the ocean as with 
the numerous friends and admirers she would 

He was one of the first on board the Prince 
Arthur, but there was not a sign of her. 
She had missed the boat, he told himself. 
He might have known it, and though the 
thought gave him a momentary sense of 
relief, it was followed immediately by a feel- 

ing of annoyance. He had wanted to get 
it over. To have to wait three weeks or so 
and then go through it all again ! But 
if she had missed the boat why Lad she not 
cabled ? If she had not the consideration 
to do this, someone in her family might have 
urged the course upon her. 

He made his way to the purser's ofiice and 
inquired for a Miss Pullman, anticipating a 
prompt reply that she had not been on the 
ship. Instead, that officer received him as 
if he had been expecting him. 
" Mr. Harding ? " 
" Yes." 

" You are the friend who was to meet Miss 
Pullman ? " 

Digby said he was. 
The purser handed a letter to him. 
" She asked me to give you this — I was 
to post it if I missed you. Miss Pullman 
left the boat at Perth — but of course you've 
had a wire." He smiled slightly. "Another 
shipboard romance." The smile, however, 
faded as he saw Digby's evident bewilder- 

" Oh — yes, Perth," repeated Digby, 
vaguely. Then he added *' thank you," poc- 
keted the letter and turned away hurriedly 
before the purser could say more. Imme- 
diately he had left the latter stepped to the 
door and called to a fellow -officer. Nodding 
his head towards his late visitor's fast- 
receding figure, he said — 

"D'ye see that chap ? Remember the 
Pullman girl saying a friend was to meet her 
here ? Didn't she make out he was a fatherly 
old chap ? " 

His companion said he remembered, and 

" She was a little hussy," he remarked. 
" I always thought she was." 

" By the way, you ran after her " 

began the other. 

" As everyone else did, eh ? She was a 
fetching little hussy, anyway. But I say, 
I'll bet you anything that chap there was 
the one she was coming out to marry — and 
she left it to me to give him the beastly 
knock-out with that letter ! " 

Harding left the boat as quickly as possible 
and finding himself after a few moments 
in a comparatively quiet part of the wharf, 
took out the letter and read it. The first 
hasty perusal told him the astounding news. 
Alys was married ! 

She had left the boat at Perth and married 
somebody else. 

The letter was more composed of exclama- 
tory marks, erasures and postscripts eveu 




than usual. He read it a second time more 
carefully. She had really truly meant to 
come out to her dear old Dig this time but 
she had met a boy on the ship who had fallen 
in love with her and she with him immedi- 
ately they saw one another. They knew at 
once they were made for each other. In 
these circumstances it would not be fair to 
her dear patient Dig to marry him. She 
was sure he, Dig, would quite understand 
— he had always been so sweet and under- 
standing and patient. He would be thank- 
ful for ever afterwards, she was sure, that 
she had made up her mind to marry the 
other boy. He was an engineer or something 
— ^Alys was very vague as to what exactly 
the boy was — and he had come out to West- 
ern Australia on some very important job, 
and when that job was finished they would 
go back to England. They would live in 
London. Her dear old Dig need not worry 
about her ; everything had been arranged 
quite properly. The boy had telegraphed 
to his people and she had telegraphed to her 
people. The boy had wanted her also to 
telegraph to her dear Dig, but she felt it 
would be such a dreadful shock that way. 
A letter could explain so much better. 

If Digby's first feeling on reading the 
letter was bewilderment, his second was 
extreme annoyance with Alys. Even in 
such a matter as throwing over one lover for 
another she must act childishly, as if it was 
merely a question of giving up one picnic 
engagement for another. How was it her 
people had permitted her, so irresponsible, 
to travel alone ? But perhaps she had not 
but had wilfully disregarded any advice 
given her. He hailed a taxi, and as he 
threw himself into it, crumpling the letter 
in his pocket, all annoyance left him and he 
was conscious of nothing but immense relief. 

Alys had married someone else. He did 
not care how or why. The elation which 
he had expected to feel when he was on his 
way to meet her, now took possession of 
him because he had lost her ! He was free, 
free to return to Akatonga — and Monica. 

What a fool he had been. It had been 
Monica always. During all the time he 
had been at Akatonga she had been there 
for him to turn to for advice, for sympathy, 
for companionship. How often he had 
reflected on the wonderful friendship which 
existed between them. Now he saw that 
for a man to feel intense satisfaction and 
joy in a woman's companionship such as 
he felt meant far more than friendship. 
It was love. His fancy only had been caught 

by the childish gaiety and beauty of Alys. 
Beauty ? He thought of Monica, the lus- 
trous hair coiled round her shapely head, 
a few soft tendrils escaping here and there 
over her serene brow ; the beautiful brown 
eyes, alight with interest and sympathy, the 
sensitive mouth. Beside such beauty as 
hers the prettiness of Alys was as tinsel 
beside gold. 

He must return to Akatonga at once, to 
Monica. If she would not listen to him ? 
He deserved to lose her for his blindness, his 
stupidity. She had always been sweet and 
kind to him, but what, he reflected with a 
sinking of hope as he made his arrangements 
for his passage by the Tahafuna, leaving 
on her return trip the following day, if this 
very steadfastness in kindness and sweetness 
meant no more than friendship ? Was she 
not sweet and kind to everyone % But he 
must face the verdict. And if he were so 
fortunate as to win her, what a wedding 
journey should there be. What a delight 
it would be to take her away for a time from 
the island where she had known so much 
anxiety, take her perhaps to England where 
she longed to go. Together they would see 
something of the beauty of the world. There 
was now no question in his mind whether 
his plantation could be left over a long 
period. His reluctance to leave his work 
that year to fetch Alys had been — he saw 
it now — merely an excuse. All along he 
had deceived himself. 

It was not till the Government boat came 
out to the Takapuna at Akatonga that 
Digby heard of Dr. Howard's death. He 
heard it from Dr. Forbes as they met by the 

*' But you," added the latter, after relating 
the news briefly, *' why are you back so soon ? 
Marriage postponed ? " 

He almost said " again " but refrained in 

" Yes," was all Digby replied, and hastened 

*' Did you see who came off the boat just 
now ? " asked Mrs. Forbes, hurrying across 
from McGrath's steps to the post office to 
Mrs. Levitt. 

" No, dear, who ? The bride," and Mrs. 
Levitt looked round eagerly. 
'' Harding — and alone ! " 
'* Well, what can that mean ! " 
"I waved my sunshade at him but he 
wouldn't take any notice." 
'' Where is he now ? " 
** He's gone rushing off towards the How- 
ards' house. If he wants Monica he won't 



find her there. Serve him right for not 
stopping when I waved. I could have told 
him she's now at Mrs. Leroy's." 

But Mrs. Forbes was not quite correct in 
her facts. Monica was not at Mrs. Leroy's 
at the moment. Since the death of her 
father Mrs. Leroy had persuaded her to go 
to her house till the ship came by which 
the girl would leave the island for ever. But 
for a few hours each day Monica was at the 
old shabby bungalow by the lagoon. The 
accumulations of years take a long time 
to sweep away and she had many little 
gifts to select and distribute among friends, 
white and native. 

She had sat down to rest for a few moments 
and the little native maid who hung about 
the house whenever she appeared in case 
she could be of some service, came forward 
with some fruit which Monica accepted 
gratefully though she needed nothing. 
Everybody was very kind, she thought, and 
now as the time drew near for her departure 
she would almost be sorry to leave. How 
affectionate the natives were ; how soon 
they forgave and forgot. Old Tanga was 
heartbroken, feeling he had brought trouble 
to the old doctor and was fretting himself ill 
away in his compound in the hills. In vain 
for Monica to try and comfort him ; he 
could not be comforted. And he was fret- 
ting also because she was leaving. Many 
had wanted her to stay, and among her 
white acquaintance, Mrs. Leroy's was by no 
means the only home open to her. But 
she must go. The steamer from Australia 
was in the harbour. Another month and the 
boat from Australia would bring back Digby 
Harding and with him his pretty young 
bride. She longed to be gone before then, 
and so resisting all entreaties she was to 
leave by the same boat by which she and 
her father were to have gone. The boat 
would be in in twenty-four hours and she 
would go on board and be taken out into 
the wide world. What was she to do there ? 
She did not know. Somehow she must 
make a living for herself. Friends on the 
island had showered introductions and 
recommendations upon her. Yet it would 

be to a world of strangers she would be 

She had idly watched the shore boats 
putting off from the Takapuna, but there 
was now no longer any interest for her in 
knowing who might be the new-comers to 
the island. She rose to return to her labours, 
the last clearances to be made from the now 
deserted rooms and verandahs. There was 
the click of the gate. But she did not 
trouble to look up — some native visitor, no 
doubt, with a gift. She was inside the 
house when she heard a quick step on the 
verandah. She started, for it was a step 
she seemed to know, and it was on the back 
verandah, overlooking the lagoon, where so 
often of an evening she had heard it. But 
of course it couldn't be the step she imagined. 
But there it was again and it paused at the 
doorway. She looked round, bewildered. 
Digby was far away, at Sydney — ^yet there 
he stood, looking in at her. It must be a 
dream, conjured up by her longing for him. 
But he was coming towards her — it was 
Digby in the flesh. He held out his hands. 
Why should he be here, and alone ? 

The first flash of joy which had illumined 
her as he came towards her, faded, and she 
attempted to withdraw her hands. 

" You," she said wonderingly, and looked 
beyond him for the pretty young bride he 
was to have brought back with him, and then 
at him again, doubtfully. 

** Monica ! " exclaimed Digby. He would 
not release her hands. He was looking into 
her eyes. He had seen that sudden flash of 
joy and hope was high within him. *' I 
am alone. She — ^Alys — has gone out of my 
life for ever. She didn't want me after all 
— and I, I didn't want her. I've never really 
wanted her, Monica, only you. I have been 
a fool ; I deceived myself. This isn't the 
time to tell you of my love, I know, now 
when you are in such grief — but I must 
just say it once. Monica, I love you — I want 
to be allowed to love and serve you to the 
end of my days. Will you let me ? " 

He bent to kiss her hands, and then look- 
ing up read the answer he longed for in her 
soft brown eyes. 





D.S.O., M.C., was a very mighty 
man, for he stood six foot three in 
his socks, weighed two hundred fair pounds 
in his light jungle kit, and could crush an 
apple in one huge hand as easily as a sledge- 
hammer crushes a wasp. 

Rumour went that he had gained one of 
his decorations in a little affair somewhere 
in Flanders when, having exhausted his re- 
volver ammunition, single-handed he had 
attacked a concealed German machine-gun ; 
when he had finished with that gun it was 
apparently still further concealed, for it and 
the gunners that had handled it lay in one 
shapeless mass in a shell-hole that gaped in 
the torn, twisted earth, whither Erskine had 
hurled them with his powerful arms and 
sinews. And for once rumour had not been 
the lying jade that she generally chooses 
to be. 

Being, as I said, a very mighty man, so 
was he accustomed to mighty surroundings, 
and, moreover, liked them. Four years after 
the Armistice, therefore, found him in charge 
of a teak forest of fifteen hundred square 
miles, situated in the little-known sources of 
the Me Wang near the northern-most limits 
of the Kingdom of Siam. This forest con- 
tained, among other things, over one hundred 
thousand teak trees, ninety-nine working 
elephants, and numerous wild animals ; also, 
it contained a dog. 

Erskine had come across it one day, a tiny, 
whining puppy hopelessly lost in the jungle, 
and had taken compassion on its moans. 
From that hour it had grown and grown till 
it had reached the size of a young calf, when, 
fortunately for the pockets of its master, it 
had ceased shooting upwards and had con- 
tented itself with swelling outwards instead. 
He had named it Gliarng, which is the Lao 
for an elephant, and the name was self- 

Erskine was now sitting, with the dog, as 
ever, crouched beside him, at a large camp- 
table in a clearing in the jungle, eating his 
breakfast. But, for the first time in his life, 
his huge hands trembled, his strength was as 
nought, and his sense of proportion had 
failed him, and all because of a wisp of a girl 
who was consuming tinned bacon and musty 
eggs on the opposite side of the table. 

" More coffee, Mr. Erskine ? " said Mrs. 
Anderson, his manager's wife. 

** Thanks," and he handed over the cup. 

" More eggs ? " asked Mrs. Anderson's 
sister, who was also the cause of the 

" Thanks, Miss Arnold," he replied, mech- 
anically passing over his plate. He didn't 
want any more of the wretched things — he 
was of! his feed, strange to say — but if he 
refused they'd ask him silly questions, and. 
he'd feel no end of an ass. He never had 
been any use in women's society, he reflected 
bitterly, but when it came to sitting opposite 
the girl he loved it was ten times worse than 
being in the presence of a hundred ordinary 

He suddenly became conscious of a swell- 
ing in his breast-pocket, and started guiltily ; 
it was Miss Arnold's handkerchief which she 
had dropped unnoticed the night before, and 
he had furtively retrieved. He ought to 
give it back to her, of course, but somehow 
he wanted to keep it ; the perfume was so 
redolent of the whole sweetness of her, and 
if . . . 

" I beg your pardon," he choked. 

*' I was asking whether two would be 
enough; they're very tiny," twinkled Bar- 
bara Arnold. 

" Ample, thanks, Miss Anderson, ample." 
Confound it, he'd called her by the wrong 
name now. Always putting his foot in it. 
He breathed heavily and extended an enor- 
mous paw for the plate. 




^ His manager's hand stretched out and felt 
his pulse for a second. 

*' Pulse fairly steady," said Anderson. 
" Sure you've got no fever ? " 

** No, why should you think I have ? " he 
replied, surprised. 

" Only four eggs this morning. I thought 
your usual ration was— well . . . something 
a good deal more." 

The girls laughed, and he blushed crimson. 
Dash it, what did they want to rag him like 
that for ? A chap had to eat, especially a 
great, hulking fellow like he was, and the 
eggs were deucedly small, not like the ones 
one got in England, for instance. 

" Tell me again, Mr. Erskine, exactly how 
many miles we are at present from nowhere," 
Miss Arnold's voice broke in on his thoughts. 

" Twenty miles to the nearest village, 
forty to the nearest town, eighty to the head 
of the railway, and five hundred to Bangkok 
as the fly crows," he replied promptly. 
Good, he had answered that quite well; 
hadn't even stammered, in fact. 

" You mean as the flow cries," said Ander- 

" Or as the cry flows," said his wife. 

" Aren't they dreadful ? Don't listen to 
them," said Miss Arnold. 

Would the awful meal never be finished ? 
He was thinking in vain for an excuse to 
break it ofi short, when a brown Lao coolie 
rushed into the clearing and stood expect- 
antly beside his chair, and Erskine turned to 
him as a man sentenced to death turns to a 
messenger bringing news of his reprieve. 

II What is it ? " he asked. 

" Master, there has been much rain in the 
North this morning and the river is rising 
fast. Logs are beginning to move. The 
headman wishes to know, should he call out 
the elephants ? " 

Erskine sprang to his feet, once more a 
mighty man of action. 

" Yes, stations as arranged, but send in 
addition Poo Taw, Poo Ten, Me Doke and 
Me Wan to the bad bend at Sup Hwe Ladong 
below here." The coolie salaamed and 
noiselessly slipped away. 

" They are my four cleverest elephants," 
he explained, turning to Anderson. 

The latter rose up from his chair and 
joined him. 

"I'll come with you. Going to the 
bend ? " 

" Yes, it's only about a mile away down 
the path." 

" Good. Girls, are you coming 1 You'll 
find it interesting." 

We'll join you later when the camp is 
ship-shape," replied Mrs. Anderson. " We 
can easily find the way." 

The two men hastily donned their helmets 
and disappeared down the track leading to- 
wards the river, accompanied by Charng, 
the dog. 


By the time they had reached their des- 
tination the stream, which only a few hours 
before had been nothing but a tiny rivulet 
trickling between broad sand-bars, was now 
a roaring, thrumming mass of yellow, muddy 
water bubbling between its banks, while on 
its swirling breast teak logs were riding down 
in hundreds and, booming sullenly as they 
struck one another, tearing round the bend. 

" Confound it," said Erskine, " the ele- 
phants are taking a long time to get here ; 
there'll be a bad jam in a minute or two." 

Hardly were the words out of his mouth 
when the head of a log longer than the others 
banged against a jagged bit of rock jutting 
out in the middle of the stream, and the 
great piece of timber swirled sideways across 
the current and buried its other end in the 
soft earthy soil of the bank. Next moment 
log after log crashed down on top of it, and 
in a remarkably short space of time a mass 
of timber several feet high was piled up right 
across the river. 

" Ah, here are the elephants at last," said 
Anderson to his companion striding impa- 
tiently up and down. 

Slowly, carefully, with maddening preci- 
sion, the four great animals knelt on the 
bank and slithered into the rushing water 
below the stack. Then, swinging round 
square to meet the current, they surged their 
way forward breast-deep through the water 
till they were right under the piled-up mass 
of logs above them. 

" Poo Taw and Poo Ten work on key log 
in middle. Me Doke and Me Wan start break- 
ing up at the sides/' yelled Erskine to the 

Patiently the two great tuskers worked 
with head, tusks and trunk at the central 
log, but after ten minutes' efforts it still 
remained immovable, and the jam was 
rapidly getting worse as more and more 
timber came down on it from the north. 

" Hasn't an elephant got feet ? " shouted 
Erskine to the driver of Poo Taw. The 
man, reddening at the slight thus cast 
upon him, tapped his charge in a peculiar 
manner on the left side of its forehead, and 
the huge animal rose up on its hind legs till 
it stood almost upright, with its forefeet 



resting on one end of the log they were 
endeavouring to free. 

" Poo Ten, now, the trunk," yelled Ers- 
kine again. 

The long, wriggling trunk of Poo Ten 
curled round the other end of the log. 

" What's that ? " he shrieked through the 
booming and the roaring and the bellowing 
and the trumpeting. " The bank ..." 

But it was too late, for even as he turned, 
the soft, treacherous earth of the bank, 
loosened by the swirl of the current and the 
banging of the timber, gave way 
i beneath his feet. He saw a log 

flashing by rush up to meet him ; 
he felt a crack at the side of the 
head that made his eyes flare into 
a thousand bits of jagged light, and 
he knew no more. 

But almost before he had reached 

' A huge, reddish streak hurtled through the air and landed with a splash alongside him.' 

" Now both together, Aaiiee," he howled. 

A gigantic heave from Poo Ten's trunk, 
an even mightier kick from Poo Taw's power- 
ful forefeet, the log was free, and the whole 
stack was upon the four in one jumbled, 
crashing mass of timber, transforming the 
elephants in one second from slow-moving 
pachyderms to striking jaguars, as with 
jabbing tusks and flaying trunks they flat- 
tened out the flurry booming round them. 

A shout from Anderson, who was standing 
a few yards behind Erskine, made the latter 

the water a huge, reddish streak hurtled 
through the air and landed with a splash 
alongside him, and in a second man and 
dog had disappeared round the bend, with 
Anderson and some twenty coolies racing 
madly along the bank after them. 


A quarter of an hour later found the 
manager bending anxiously over the dripping 
figure of his assistant, the shaggy dog stand- 
ing, as ever, by the body of the master it had 
saved. Anderson's quick fingers felt under 
the loose khaki shirt at the heart. It was 



still feebly beating. Thank Heaven, the 
man was still alive, but a nasty gash across 
the left temple made Anderson's face set 
anxiously, and with tender care he sponged 
the clotted blood from the wound and 
bound it up with his handkerchief. If only 
his wife and her sister were here ! Then he 
remembered that they had said they were 
coming along shortly ; but the time was now 
nearly half -past eleven, and they should have 
put in an appearance long ago. 

He whipped a piece of paper and a pencil 

from his pocket and scribbled a hurried note 

to his wife, telling the two girls of the accident, 

and to come in all 

haste, bringing 

bandages, lint and 

and ordered the remainder of the men to 
build a bamboo stretcher. . 

Then he sat down on the ground, took out 
his smoking materials, and lit his pipe. 
There was nothing else to do. 

He had not long to wait, for within twenty 
minutes the figure of his wife appeared 
hurrying towards him, followed by a Kamoo 
boy bringing the things for which he had 

Without a word to her husband she knelt 
down beside the unconscious form, and her 
deft fingers were quickly at work. By the 
time she had finished the stretcher was ready, 
and Erskine having been placed upon it, 
man and wife looked at one another. 

"No," answered Mrs. Anderson in re- 

• He saw a log flashing by rush up to meet ^ 
him." ^ 

brandy with them. This done, he handed 
the note to one of the coolies standing 
by, who disappeared into the jungle in the 
direction of the camp as if he had been shot, 

sponse to the query in her husband's eyes, 
" no fracture as far as I can see, but he has 
had a nasty knock and must remain abso- 
lutely quiet in his tent. It may be several 



hours yet before he comes round," she broke 
off, and a puzzled frown crinkled her clear 

" But where is Barbara ? " she continued. 
" What did you mean in your note by telling 
both of us to come and help you ? Isn't she 
here already ? " 

" Look here, old lady," he answered gently, 
" this accident has upset us both a bit. ■ You 
know as well as I do that she's never been 

" But she left the camp over an hour ago 
to come down and watch the elephants work- 
ing. I didn't accompany her as I had a bit 
of a headache and was afraid the sun would 
make it worse." 

It was now the man's turn to look puzzled. 
He beckoned to one of the coolies. 

" From here to the camp there is only one 
path, isn't there ? " 

'' Yes, Master." 

" Even never having gone along the path 
before, it would be impossible to get lost ? " 

" Quite impossible. Master ; there are no 
cross- tracks at all." 

Anderson saw the anxious look on his 
wife's face and smiled at her. 

" Don't worry, darling, I expect it's all 
right, and we'll find her at the camp when we 
get back preparing cocktails for us. Still, 
we'd better get a move on all the same." 

But on their arrival at the clearing there 
was no sign of her. Boys, cooks and camp- 
coolies all professed complete ignorance ; 
they had noticed her leave the clearing about 
ten o'clock, walking along the path that led 
to the river, but since then they had neither 
seen nor heard anything of her. In fact, 
she seemed to have disappeared literally into 

Anderson sat down in a chair and ad- 
dressed his head coolie. 

*' Send at once for the elephant headman 
and all the drivers to come immediately to 
form a search-party. Tell them never to 
mind the work and to loose the elephants, 
and that any man not here within half an 
hour will be fined and dismissed. You 
understand ? " 

-The man salaamed and sped off. Then 
he turned to his wife. 

" What shoes was she wearing this morn- 
ing — do you remember ? " 

" Plain-soled tennis shoes ; ones that 
wouldn't leave much mark on the ground, 
I'm afraid," she answered. 

For a space he was silent, then : 

" Only one thing to do. You stay here 
and nurse Erskine, and I'll go out with the 

search-party. I'll be back anyhow before 
night, as it's hopeless searching in the dark. 
But I'm sure we'll find her all right," he 
concluded lamely. 

His wife's hand stole out and took the 
strong brown hand in her own little white 

" Old chap," she whispered, " there are 
. . . tigers . . . and things; Let me know. 
I can bear up better if I hear the truth. 
There isn't much chance, is there ? " 

" I'm afraid not very much, darling," he 
replied. " She ought never to have gone 
out alone ; even the natives always go in 
pairs when walking through the jungle. 
But I'll do my best." 

" It wouldn't be you if you didn't. But 
remember, we must not let Mr. Erskine know 
when he returns to consciousness. The 
shock might kill him after what he has 
already gone through." 

" Kill him ! " muttered Anderson, aghast. 
" Why should it ? He's a strong man, if 
ever there was one." 

" Lionel, didn't you know ? He loves 

'' Nonsense, my dear. ..." 

'' I tell you he does. We women see things 
where men are blind." 

" Good Heavens," whispered Anderson 
brokenly. Then he sprang to his feet. 

*' I must go now, sweetheart ; I can hear 
the men coming." 

" Good-bye and good luck to you, my 
darling, for all our sakes," she whispered, 
and he was gone. 

For hour after hour Mrs. Anderson sat in 
the sick man's tent, watching and waiting 
for signs of returning consciousness on the 
part of her patient, while stretched out on 
the ground beside the bed lay the great 
dog, gazing with unwinking eyes at the 
body of the beloved master, and refusing the 
meat and drink that had been placed beside 
it by the quiet, subdued boy. Gradually the 
sun's rays began to mellow, and evening 
stole softly over the sleeping earth. It 
was not till the gloom had deepened and 
the boy entered carrying a lighted lamp in 
his hand that a deep sigh came from the 
figure on the bed, and the eyes opened and 
blinked painfully in the glare. 

" I have such a funny pain in my head. 
Where am I ? " he murmured. 

" It is all right, dear. Lie quite still and 
drink this," Mrs. Anderson answered, hold- 
ing a cup of milk up to his lips. As she did 


so her ear caught a rustle in the surround- 
ing jungle, and she knew it must be her 
husband returning from the search. With 
all the force of her will she fought down a 
wild desire to rush out and know the result, 
but with steady hands she kept the cup to 
Erskine's lips till he had finished. 

" Go to sleep again now ; I'll be back later 
to see how you are getting on," she promised, 
and then swept out of the tent. 

She was half-way across the clearing by 
the time she met her husband, and one glance 
at his face told her that his search had been 
fruitless ; he looked pale and ill, with dark 
lines under his eyes and a haggard, anxious 
look upon his normally cheerful countenance. 
" Nothing,'' he said hopelessly, " abso- 
lutely nothing. We just made out the 
tracks for about half a mile from here, when 
they ceased altogether, though where they 
ceased there were some very faint marks on 
the ground that fche coolies were unable to 
identify. Then the usual game started, and 
they said devils must have taken her. It 
always comes to that with these people when 
they are puzzled. I ... I had to be pretty 
firm with them before they would continue 
the search, they were so frightened. There 
were, however, no signs of violence, no traces 
of ... of . . ." He broke off. 

'' I know what you mean. Go on," she 
said quietly. 

" Well," he continued, '' we combed out 
every bit of jungle for at least eight miles 
round here in all directions, with no results 
whatever. We must start again at dawn 
to-morrow and sweep wider, sleeping out if 
necessary. Heavens, I feel about done,"- he 

His wife looked at him anxiously. He 
certainly looked done up, and it was signifi- 
cant that so far he had asked nothing as to 
how Erskine was getting on. She took him 
by the arm. 

" Come, have a good bath and a whisky- 
and-soda, and then some food and go to bed," 
she said gently. " I shall have you on my 
hands next if you're not careful." 

By nine o'clock Anderson was underneath 
the blankets, sleeping the heavy sleep of 
exhaustion. His wife kissed him as he lay, 
tucked in the net all round to ensure that no 
mosquitoes broke in on his well-earned rest, 
and then crossed over to Erskine 's tent. A 
low growl came from inside the double cover 
as she entered, then ceased as the dog recog- 
nised her. She stooped down and patted 
the shaggy mane for a while, then, seeing 
that his master was breathing peacefully in 


a deep, untroubled slumber, returned across 
the clearing. 

A full moon was shining over the silent 
trees, and she raised her eyes for a moment 
up to the star-lit skies above her, thinking 
of the sister somewhere out in the surround- 
ing gloom, for she could not yet bring herself 
to believe that the girl was dead. 

" God, don't desert her ; she is so small and 
will be so lonely. Give me a sign, give me a 
portent, as You did in the days of old," she 
cried pitifully, stretching out her arms. 

In the distance came the far-flung trumpet 
of an elephant; near by an owl hooted 
drearily from the darkling jungle ; and the 
cold moon gleamed pitilessly over all. 

Then, for the first time that day, she buried 
her face in her hands, stumbled blindly into 
her tent, and wept her heart out on the pillow 
at the head of her little camp-bed. 

To Erskine, as he lay asleep that night, 
there came a dream. It was a funny dream, 
with things all mixed up anyhow together, 
as dreams usually are. 

A machine-gun first, with two dead soldiers 
in grey beside it, and a huge form towering 
above them. Ah, the form was Charng, and 
the dog was devouring the soldiers. Then it 
approached him, wagging its tail, and he saw 
that it held something in its mouth. It was 
a girl's pocket-handkerchief. Funny thing 
that — fancy finding such an article in a shell- 
hole in Flanders. 

Then a face appeared somehow out of the 
gloom. It was the face of Barbara Arnold, 
smiling at him ; he leant forward to kiss it, 
when it disappeared. Then it came again, 
but this time it was white and drawn and 
pitiful ; and a voice sounded in his ear, a very 
tiny voice that seemed to come from miles 
away, and the voice was calling, calling Mm, 

He woke up with a start, to find himself 
in a sitting posture with the girl's handker- 
chief grasped in his hand. A dull pain still 
throbbed in his head, his brain felt numb, 
and he had no power of thought ; but mechan- 
ically, as if someone else was directing his 
actions, he crawled out of bed and thrust the 
handkerchief into the face of the great dog 
fawning upon him. 

Then, as if still in a dream, he pulled on a 
pair of khaki shorts over his pyjamas, and 
some socks and a pair of stout hob-nailed 
boots over his feet. This done, he clicked a 
stout leash on to Charng's collar, and held 
the flimsy bit of cambric once more to the 
animal's nose, and the dog looked up at him 
with loving, understanding eyes. 



Erskine then replaced the handkerchief in 
his pocket, instinctively reached for his 
helmet, and, grasping the thin end of the 
leash firmly in one hand, strode out into the 
clearing. A second later the gloom of the 
jungle swallowed them up. 

H: ^ H: ^ H: 

For a while the two great forms swung 
silently down the moon-splashed path leading 
towards the river. After they had covered 
about half a mile the dog halted as if puzzled, 
nosed around, and then, with eager, excited 
whimper, as if striking some strange, un- 
known scent, broke off at right angles into 
the maze of the jungle ; and the man, clinging 
tightly to the leash, followed. 

Bamboos whipped him in the face, thorns 
and creepers tore and lashed at his clothing, 
but he cared not ; indeed, he seemed to 
notice nothing, and automatically his giant 
legs swung like pistons to and fro beneath 
him as the miles slid past. 

Once Charng halted and, with bristling 
hairs and jagged growl, stared into the dark- 
ness before him. Erskine caught the flash 
of two golden-green eyes stabbing the gloom, 
shouted, the eyes clicked off with startling 
suddenness, and they resumed their journey 

At last, when the first flush of dawn was 
beginning to infuse the sky with a pale, 
greenish light, they broke free of the jungle 
and came to the banks of a great river. 

As he looked over the vast expanse of 
bubbling water, gleaming coldly in the bleak 
morning light, and dotted here, and there 
with ragged juts of rock, a great weariness 
came over the man. The dull pain still 
throbbed in his head, and his brain still re- 
fused to act ; he only knew that he was very, 
very weary. 

He gave a deep sigh, and stretching himself 
full length on the ground with the helmet 
over his eyes, was soon fast asleep, with the 
dog crouching on guard beside him. 

•p ^ •!• 'F •** 

When he woke up the sun was high in the 
heavens. He sat upright, rubbed the sleep 
out of his eyes, and stretched his mighty 
sinews. The pain in his head was gone and, 
apart from a certain leg- weariness, he felt as 
fit and strong as ever. 

He tried to piece his thoughts together, 
but all he could think of for the moment was 
that he had a most amazing hunger. 

He looked round him and saw that Charng 
was nosing about at the edge of the scrub ; 
and, as his master watched him, a jungle- 
fowl exploded from almost under the dog's 

nose and flew squawking over the trees out of 

Soon man and beast were greedily swallow- 
ing the raw, satisfying eggs that lay in the 
neat little nest on the ground. 

The meal over, Erskine sat down again 
and did a bit of hard thinking. By degrees 
came back the accident, then a blank, then 
the dream, and lastly the journey. 

But what could it all mean ? He must 
have gone off his head or something, for 
what was he doing here ? Where was he ? 
Where were his friends ? Above all, where 
was Barbara ? With them, presumably ; 
but why should he have had that strange; 
dream about her ? 

Automatically he put his hand in his 
pocket for his watch, instead of which he 
pulled out the handkerchief, and for a while 
he regarded it with a puzzled frown. 

Then, clearly and suddenly, as if someone 
had addressed him on a loud speaker, he 
heard his name called, his Christian name. 

For a second he stared wildly around, then 
a light came over his face and his indecision 
cleared as if by magic. He sprang to his 
feet, seized Charng by the collar, and together 
they leapt into the swirling, muddy torrent, 
swam choking and gasping through the flurry, 
and landed dripping on the bank opposite, 
A few whimpering circles and the dog had 
picked up the trail again, and man and beast 
once more lunged forward into the forest. 

As the sun slowly dipped towards the west, 
so did the going become more fearful. It 
was the worst bit of jungle that Erskine had 
ever known — dense and priraeval, with 
masses and masses of creepers, aeitle-grass 
and bamboos writhing andtwisting in and out 
of each other in a riot of vegetation gone mad 
— but somehow they fought their way through 
the dreadful tangle. Leeches fed succu- 
lently off the man — his boots squelched with 
blood, his pyjama coat was torn off his 
back, and the white skin scratched into a 
thousand bleeding ribbons ; the bandage on 
his head alone remained undisturbed, pro- 
tected by the covering helmet. 

His breath came and went in short, flagg- 
ing gasps ; his brain had long ago ceased to 
function ; but with desperation he clung to the 
one idea that could keep him going, and on 
he staggered, on, on,' on, for ever and ever on. 

At last, when even his gigantic strength 
was beginning to fail him, Charng stopped 
and bristled. Erskine peered forward and 
tried to pierce the gloom ahead, for the sun 
had by now sunk below the hilly horizon and 
darkness was gently settling over the land. 



Then his eyes caught a reddish-coloured 
glare that flickered and leapt between the 
trees before him, and on his ears stole a weird, 
wild chant that rose and fell, and rose again. 

He dropped flat to the ground and, with 
infinite stealth, started crawling forwards, 
every now and then placing a warning hand 
on the dog's head to keep him quiet. After 
what seemed to him to be hours of painfully 
slow progress, the vegetation gradually 
thinned, and through it he could see a large 

And the form was Barbara Arnold. 
The dancers, shown up in vivid gleams by 
the shooting flames of the fire, were leaping 
sideways with a peculiar, monkey-like gait, 
scarcely ever straightening themselves up to 
their full height, which Erskine judged to 
be not more than about five feet at the 

" My God ! " he breathed, " the jungle- 
folk and the devil dance." 

He had often heard that such people 
existed in the little-known forests of Malaya, 
and his own servants had told him that these 
wild people were believed to inhabit the less 
frequented parts of Northern Siam, for vil- 
lagers had been known to disappear mysteri- 
ously before. But he had 
laughed at these tales and had 
placed little credence in them ; 
now, however, he was to believe 
in them with a vengeance. 

" When he came to his head 
was in a girl's lap, and 
girl's tears were dewing his 
cheeks. For a minute he lay 
there, amazed at this strange, 
new order of things." 

Like a cat he edged forward a few more 
paces, then drew back aghast, his face as 
white as a sheet, for this is what met his 
horrified eyes : 

In the centre of the clearing a huge wood- 
fire burned, round which a score of naked 
brown bodies were dancing, chanting as they 
danced. Slung over the branch of a tree 
some ten yards away from the fire were the 
antlers of a sambhur, on which was tied the 
dead body of a jungle-cock with the breast 
split open, so that the blood slowly trickled 
down the white feathers and spilled on to a 
form that was lashed to the trunk below it. 

Suddenly the chant ceased, and one of the 
men, who was slightly taller than the others, 
bent to the ground, seized a large club in his 
hand, and advanced across the clearing in 
the direction of the girl. 

Then did the face of the watcher change 
into something that was no longer the face 
of Erskine, and a look came into his eyes that 
had only once been there before. . . . Two 
dead men in grey, a shell-hole, a field in 
stricken Flanders. . . . 


Those that were quick enough escaped ; 



those that were not, or were rash enough to 
attempt resistance . . . didn't. 

They were conscious of two great roaring, 
bellowing forms upon them, of two great 
devils mightier far than the one to whom they 
were about to make the sacrifice, and the 
majority fled incontinently. The leader just 
had time to swing his club at the streak of 
lightning hurtling through the air before the 
snapping fangs tore the throat out of him. 
Three more who stood up to the man-devil 
were seized in a grip that tore the muscles 
out of their shoulders and hurled them one 
after the other into the fire they had hardly 
expected to feed themselves. It was all over 
with surprising rapidity. 

Erskine glared round and, seeing that the 
arena was clear, sprang to the girl's side, 
unlashed her and swung her over one shoulder 
like a wisp of straw. He was just startingto 
race off with his burden when he noticed 
that Charng was lying on the ground, looking 
at him with beseeching eyes and whining 

" What's up, old chap— hurt ? " 

The dog tried to rise, but failed, and 
sank down panting. Erskine hesitated. He 
must get out of this and hide somewhere 
as quickly as possible, for, although badly 
frightened, the jungle-people might attack 
them any minute if they remained where 
they were; But could he leave the dog ? 
The faithful brown eyes met his again, and 
his heart melted. 

Down reached a powerful hand, grasped 
Charng by the collar, and the dead-weight of 
the huge dog was swung over the other 
shoulder. (Years afterwards Erskine worked 
it all out and came to the conclusion that, 
theoretically, it was impossible — he couldn't 
have done it, strong as he was. The girl, 
though small, was well made, and must have 
weighed well over a hundred pounds, the dog 
far more. Moreover, he had just completed 
a journey which few men living could have 
done, with little or no food to support him ; 
it was almost dark, and the jungle was 
fearful in its density. Still, facts were 
facts. . . .) 

Erskine, with no definite idea in his head 
except to get as far away from the spot as he 
could before collapsing, charged into the 
tangle again. He had gone perhaps a quar- 
ter of a mile when the vegetation opened 
out a little and he saw, silhouetted up in 
the gloom ahead, a slab of rock with a 
roof -like structure jutting out about five 
feet above the earth. He bent his head, 
reeled in, deposited his burdens on the 

ground, and, for the first time in his life, 


When he came to his head was in a girl's 
lap, and a girl's tears were dewing his cheeks. 
For a minute he lay there, amazed at this 
strange, new order of things, and then he 
straightened himself to a sitting position. 

The moon was now up, casting a soft, cold 
radiance on the ground before them, and he 
could just make out the pale, sweet features 
of the girl beside him. 

*' Sorry I made such an ass of myself, 
fainting like that," he said huskily. 

For answer she took both his hands in hers, 
too moved to speak. '' Such an ass of him- 
self ! " She choked. 

The sound was too much for him, and for a 
moment broke down the barrier of his shy- 

*' Miss Anderson — Miss Arnold, I mean — • 
sorry to have to tell you, but . . . .can't help 
it, as a matter of fact. . . . I — I love you. 
I suppose you couldn't ever learn to care for 
a great, hulking chap like me ? " 

" My dear," she whispered, " my dear, 
when you heard me calling, for I called you 
with the whole strength of my will, couldn't 
you have guessed that I loved you too ? " 

For a few seconds he felt dazed, stunned 
by the wonderment of it all. Then he felt 
furtively for his handkerchief, and for the 
first time realised that above his waist he was 
innocent of garment of any kind, and he 
blushed crimson. 

Barbara, however, cared for none of these 
things, for two soft arms stole round his 
neck, two soft lips met his, and their souls 
went out to one another in one long, pas- 
sionate kiss. 

Presently with sudden remembrance of 
the dog, he bent with anxious care towards 
the shaggy form stretched out before them. 
Then with a start of surprise he drew back 
and looked questioningly at her. 

" Yes," she said, " I examined him while 
you were still in a faint. You were uncon- 
scious so long after I had done all I could to 
bring you round, that I got so worried that 
I felt I simply had to occupy my mind 
somehow, so I turned my attention to Charng. 
Both his fore-paws are broken — it must have 
been by that dreadful man with a club — and 
I made rough splints and bandaged them up. 
He'll be all right in time, but I'm afraid it'll 
be a good month before he will be able to walk 
about again." 

" How did you get the material ? " he 



" You mustn't ask," she replied. 

Both blushed.- Confound it, he'd made an 
ass of himself again. Then he frowned, for 
with the dog hurt gone was their only chance 
of finding the way back they had come. 
Then he remembered his hob-nailed boots, 
and hope stirred faintly in his breast. Not 
much of a trail to follow, but his headman 
was a clever chap at that sort of work, and 
Anderson, Anderson had all his wits about 
him. They might use elephants, too, get 
them through the tangle quicker. . . . 

" Whatever have you got that bandage 
on your head f or ? " the girl's voice broke in 
on his thoughts. 

Then each told the other the strange 
events that had happened to them till the 
time of their meeting, after which they sat 
in silence for a while, their hands tightly 
clasped together. 

At length, as oblivion began to steal over 
their tired senses they tenderly pulled 
Charng towards them, and lay on either side 
of him, with their arms around the shaggy 

" Aren't you feeling hungry or thirsty, 
sweetheart ? " he asked. 

" No, I'm too happy," she replied. 

" That's funny, so am I. Good night, my 

And the three slept. 

He was up early next morning and, after 
routing about, found another nest of jungle- 
fowl's eggs ; also, what was more important, 
a pool of sweet, clean water. He pulled two 
large teak leaves off a branch, filled them 
with the sparkling liquid, and returning, gave 
one to Barbara, who was now awake, and the 
other to the dog. 

This done, he led the girl down to the pool, 
and hid behind a tree while she performed 
her simple toilet, not daring to go away too 
far lest evil befall her again. Then he bathed 
himself, washed and cleansed his wounded 
head, and the two returned refreshed to 
where they had left the dog, and shared the 
scanty meal of raw eggs between them. 

Scarce had they finished, however, when 
a sound in the jungle behind them brought 
Erskine standing expectant to his feet. 

The sound came nearer and nearer. 
Heavens, was it the jungle-folk returning 
for their revenge ? 

He listened intently, hardly daring to 

Then above the general rustling his quick 
ear caught the squeaking and straining of 
howdahs, and the next moment four ele- 
phants burst into view, with Anderson and 
his wife riding on two of them. In a second 
they had dismounted, Barbara was in her 
sister's arms, and the two men were shaking 
each other's hands as if they would never 

" Thank God we've found you," said 
Anderson. " But we had an awful job, 
what with repeatedly losing the trail and 
having to pick it up again. I've heaps of 
things to ask you, but you must both be 
dying for something to eat, and from the look 
of you, Erskine, a shirt and a decent pair 
of trousers wouldn't be out of place." He 
turned round and busied himself over a 
basket that had just been slung to the 

Montague Howard Erskine, D.S.O., M.C., 
mighty man of valour, drew a deep breath 
and looked around him. 

He saw the four leviathans looming above 
him, the very cream of his ninety-nine 
elephants ; he saw the dark green of the 
surrounding jungle and the vivid blue be- 
yond ; he saw the pale, sweet face of the girl he 
had fought for and won — and a huge bubble 
burst inside him, a bubble of pure, radiant 
delight, sending the hot blood surging richly 
through his veins. 

He felt mad, fey, drunk with the splendour 
of things ; and, drawing himself up to his full 
height, he stretched wide his mighty arms 
till the sinews cracked under the strain. The 
streaming sunlight dazzled over his gleaming 
skin and the rolling muscles beneath it, and 
he stood there, proud and beautiful, a verit- 
able Pan in his wild surroundings. 

And then he spoke : 

" Poo Ten, Poo Taw, Me Doke, Me Wan, 
come. My Lords, to your future mistress, the 
salute, Harraaii . . ." he boomed. 

Then was the still morning air broken into 
a thousand shivering fragments by one 
shrieking, shattering trumpet that, mingled 
with the deep baying of the hound, sent the 
wild birds screaming from the trees and the 
sleepy brown bears darting in terror to their 

And Barbara hid her face in her tiny 
hands and wept for the joy of it all. 




THE Captain, like a modern Tarquin, 
lashed out irritably with his walking- 
stick at a tall thistle beside the 
path. *' He is worse than a Radical ! He 
is a Red ! A Red of the extremest ) A 
worth-nothing ! Never will I allow such 
a fellow to enter my doors. Va ! " He 
puffed out his cheeks, threw back his 
shoulders and assumed as nearly as the 
human frame permits the attributes of an 
angry game-cock. 

** But, my grandfather," replied Josephine 
gently. ** It is an error. Rene — M. De- 
taille, is not a Red at all, not even of the 
palest rose-colour. He is, I assure you, not 
at all interested in politics." 

" So much the worse for him," snapped 
back the angry old gentleman. " A fellow 
who takes no interest in the fate of his 
country — Saperlipopette ! He is worse than 
any Red. They at least have the grace to 
wish to destroy it. As for that — ^the — ^the 
— what do you call the abominable thing ? 
— the — ^the — trade-mark he imprints upon 
every yard of the tissues he sends out from 
his factory — Name of a Name ! — what do 
you read upon it ? Three fleurs-de-lis under 
a royal crown. With the date — 1815. 

" But that — my grandfather. Rene is 
not responsible for that. It is a trade- 
mark of great value — established by his 
great-uncle — recalling the date upon which 
the manufactory was established." She 
concealed a smile. " For that matter — ^the 
Kings of France were " 

** They were tyrants living upon the 
misery of the people. And this — ^this fellow 
— who dares to pay you his addresses — who 
commemorates upon his abominable silks — 
adulterated silks, every yard of them, or I am 
much mistaken — ^this fellow — I ask of myself 
— Name of a Name of a Name ! ! ! ! " And 
having relieved his feelings by the tumul- 

tuous expression of the most tremendous 
oath known to his vocabulary, Captain 
Ravigot actually turned his back upon his 
granddaughter and stumped through the 
tangled undergrowth towards the house. 

The first thing to strike you, were you 
privileged to enter the salon of the Chateau 
de Serigny, was a stuffed eagle on a marble 
column, placed in an alcove facing the 
folding-doors. The marble column was 
pink and ornamented with capital N's, 
laurel- wreaths, Roman fasces and similar 
Imperial insignia in rather faded gilding. 
The eagle stood erect, with expanded wings, 
holding in its claws a bunch of lightning 
flashes, also gilded and somewhat resembling 
old-fashioned bayonets, and despite some 
signs of age — even, as it might seem to the 
cynical, of posthumous moulting — ^it retained 
a very fierce suggestion. 

The Chateau de Serigny, though of small 
extent, really presented the attributes of a 
chateau, compared to the modern villas to 
which that title is often extended nowadays. 
It was an old, grey house of weatherbeaten 
stone, with an overgrown terrace leading 
down to the wilderness of lush grass that 
once, very long ago, was a jardin anglais of 
formal informality. A hundred yards from 
the house ancient rusty gates gave upon 
the high road from Serpes to Montigny, but 
the carriage-drive had long since faded into 
a footpath, and the decaying trees, which 
marked where once had stretched a stately 
avenue, served only to accentuate the 
desolation of which they formed a part. 
Nevertheless, the old house still preserved a 
dignity, even a certain graciousness, con- 
trasting markedly enough with the harsh 
democracy of the little red-tiled tubular 
brick villas which bespoke the increasing 
prosperity of the manufacturing community 
into which the one-time feudal village of 
Serigny-le-Chateau had developed. 



Naturally you would have expected the 
owner of a domain so suggestive to be at 
least the descendant of a long line of 
medisBval marquises. So indeed it was 
until the days of the Terror, but the noble 
faniily of Serigny-Montjallon was long 
extinct, and M. le Capitaine Ravigot, 
although, as he did not like you to forget, 
a man of good family, came of professional 
rather than of aristocratic stock. His 
paternal grandfather was, * in fact, that 
famous Greneral Ravigot who, when a 
private soldier in the Grenadiers of the 
Guard, saved Napoleon's life at the bridge 
of Areola and was eventually shot by the 
Allies for having returned to his old alle- 
giance during the Hundred Days— in that 
fatal year 1815 — which so aroused his 
grandson's indignation when commemorated 
on the artificial-silk products of the firm of 
Monnier-Detaille. As he recalls in his 
published memoirs. General Ravigot started 
life as a pastrycook's errand-boy in the old 
town of Cahors, and neither he nor his de- 
scendants ever felt the need to conceal his 
humble origin. 

As was to be expected, the General's o6ly 
son inherited his fidelity. He long shared 
the exile of that adventurous Prince Errant, 
Louis Napoleon, and played an important 
part in the abortive descent upon Boulogne 
in 1840, which the Prince subsequently 
expiated in the fortress of Ham. Colonel 
Ravigot it was, in fact, who, perhaps 
prompted by his Southern imagination, 
conceived the idea of the tame eagle, which 
figured so unfortunately in the fiasco. The 
idea, which was not only picturesque but 
showed some insight into the national 
character, was that, as the Conqueror set his 
foot upon his native soil, the symbolic bird 
should soar skywards and alight on the top 
of the column erected on the heights above 
Boulogne to commemorate his uncle's con- 
quest of England. And to bring this about 
the Colonel devoted many hours of patient 
toil to training the selected Symbol in the 
back garden of his humble lodgings in 
Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square. 

As history reminds us, the nephew's con- 
quest of France failed — for the time at 
least — as completely as had the uncle's of 
Perfidious Albion. Scarcely were they 
disembarked from the excursion steamer in 
which they had crossed from Margate when 
the Prince and his companions were igno- 
miniously arrested by the local gendarmerie 
and, perhaps worst of all in the partial eye 
of Colonel Ravigot, the eagle flatly refused 

22 i 

to fly. Instead it paid the penalty of its 
presence by being ignominiously knocked 
on the head in the scuffle, like any ordinary 
fowl, and was later sold, by a gendarme, to 
a local taxidermist. Colonel Ravigot, having 
been amnestied and having assisted in his 
master's escape from his fortress-prison, 
himself retrieved the hapless eagle from its 
ignominious captivity—seeing perhaps some- 
thing of allegory in so doing—and adopted 
it as in some sort a family totem and heir- 
loom. Napoleon III, whatever his faults, 
was not ungrateful, and when, in due time, 
the coup d'etat opened his way to the 
Imperial throne, he did not forget those— 
and among them Colonel Ravigot— who had 
remained faithful to him in his days of exile. 
The Colonel purchased the Chateau de 
Serigny, erected the species of altar, graced 
by the stuffed eagle, which hallowed its 
salon, and dying in due course, luckily for 
him before the downfall of the Empire, 
bequeathed it and his loyalty to his son. 

The Captain, equally steadfast, was less 
fortunate. The Prussians advanced, the 
Empire fell, the soldier of Napoleon, who had 
just achieved his captaincy, was grievously 
wounded on the fatal day of Gravelotte. 
Having at last recovered, though with one 
shortened leg to serve him as perpetual 
souvenir, he turned his back upon an un- 
grateful country and retired to Serigny to 
nurse his memories and work, if the oppor- 
tunity should come to him, for the return 
of the Imperial House. Unfortunately his 
mind remained active and impelled him, 
by some fortuitous meeting, perhaps, to 
invest his capital in the local silk industry, 
just then at its most prosperous. Conditions 
changed ; new discoveries were made ; the 
Great War altered the whole face of the 
world, and as one result Captain Ravigot, 
on the eve of his eightieth year, found him- 
self bereft of all his possessions but the old 
chateau, the few poor acres surrounding it 
which, leased to a local metayer, which is to 
say on sharing terms, provided the bare 
necessities of life — and his granddaughter, 

Such being his antecedents you cannot 
be greatly surprised that Captain Ravigot 
had little liking for the family of Monnier- 
Detaille, which lived in the big new house 
on the other side of the valley above Serigny, 
and whose great artificial-silk mills, electri- 
cally driven and as modern as modernity 
could make them, fronted the Doubelle 
stream for something like an eighth of a 
mile. For not only had old Jules Monnier 



prospered where lie had. failed, having fore- 
seen the decay of the local silk industry and 
taken his precautions beforehand, not only 
were they as a family Republican, inclining 
if anything towards the Left, but they 
carried in their very trade-mark, com- 
memorating the fatal year when the founder 
of the Ravigot family was martyred for his 
faith, a perpetual challenge of offence. It 
is true that this same trade-mark, chosen 
by a former Monnier who was an outspoken 
Legitimist, testified to the instability of 
their political opinions ; but business is after 
all business, and no one found any offence 
in it except indeed M. le Capitaine Ravigot. 

General dislike, like aerial electricity, 
requires some particular point upon which 
to converge. Accordingly the general dis- 
like of Captain Ravigot for the whole 
Monnier-Detaille clan converged upon the 
unhappy head of young Rene, its sole 
representative in the new generation. For 
old Jules Monnier added to his other 
sins of commission and omission in the 
Captain*s eyes by educating the son of his 
old age to be not a Frenchman at all but a 
cosmopolite — in the Captain's eyes the most 
abject creature on earth. That is to say, 
the young Rene was not only educated in 
England — a scandalous thing in itself, to 
one of the Captain's way of thinking — but 
was afterwards sent abroad, for whole years 
at a time, to study the textile industry, in all 
its manifestations, in England, in America, 
even, horrible to relate, in Germany. And 
accordingly, when, in due course, he re- 
turned to assist in the management of his 
father's business, almost his first innovation 
was to substitute artificial silk — which was 
not silk at all — for the ancestral product 
which had made — and lost — the fortunes 
of the Doubelle Valley for generations past. 
Also he introduced English and American 
machinery and English and American 
methods of business and English and 
American-r-yes, and very likely German as 
well — labour conditions until — faith of a 
soldier ! — you might have thought that the 
smiling valley of the Doubelle was no more 
than a tributary of the mournful Thames, 
the savage Hudson or even the unspeakable 

Thus, you will realise, there was scarcely 
a redeeming feature in the unhappy young 
man's character. He had not even fought 
in the Great War, being, as a matter of 
fact, too young — though that was no excuse 
in the Captain's eyes. Not that the Captain 
had ever approved of the War. If the 

Germans had defeated his Emperor — only 
through treachery, of course — it was absurd 
to suppose that the Republic could hope to 
withstand them — only traitors could suggest 
such a thing. It made no difference to him 
that the Germans were finally beaten, with 
the help of the Allies. The old sting was 
still there, and he growled and grumbled his 
dislike of all things new and especially of 
those etr angers, of whatever nationality or 
crt^ed, responsible for introducing them. 
France — France of the old Emperor — 
France with its respect for the old customs 
and old ways, was gradually disappearing — • 
in a word, even though one could not 
help being glad that the Germans were 
beaten, it was little credit to the Republi- 
cans and even less to Rene Monnier-Detaille, 
with his foreign clothes and his foreign 
manners and his internationalist ideas 
which were — my faith, it made no differ- 
ence whether they were Red or Royalist, 
since it was certain that in either case 
they were altogether detestable. And that 
this young vaurien should have the auda- 
city to aspire to the hand of a descend- 
ant of 

These reflections, you will understand, 
were delivered, aloud and with some orator- 
ical vehemence, to the stuffed eagle on the 
marble pedestal as soon as the Captain had 
reached the salon after his disturbing inter- 
view with his granddaughter in the jardin 
anglais. It was his custom to open his 
heart to that symbol of fallen greatness, and 
nowhere could he have found a more placid 
or sympathetic listener. In his most 
gesticulatory moments — when, for example, 
he was expressing his opinions concerning 
the local political machinations of the 
Cartel, he would sometimes break off to 
remove with his handkerchief some speck 
of dust which he suspected on that admir- 
able bird's beak or wing-feathers ; it was 
indicative of the depths to which his grand- 
daughter's disobedience — there could be no 
other word for it — had stirred him, that 
for the first time in their joint life he as 
nearly as possible imperilled one of the 
extended wings with a too fiercely out- 
flung forefinger, the physical expression of 
indignant reproof. 

That unHutiful child, meanwhile, left 
alone in the garden, had hurried away — 
almost as though she had been awaiting 
her opportunity — across the tangled grass, 
through the orchard that bounded it, to a 
little green door in the boundary wall which 
gave upon the uphill lane which takes you 


to the Forest of the Four Columns. A 
little way up the lane, just where it turns 
the angle of the barn, a young man was 
standing. He was a good-looking young 
man enough, slim and fair with the tawny 
fairness of the Deux Bievres and with a 
pair of dark blue eyes, which, as Captain 
Kavigot had been known to point out, 
were altogether too pretty for a Frenchman, 
however it might be with natives of lesser 
countries. And indeed, at a casual glance, 
you might have taken him for an Anglo- 
Saxon, especially as he was actually wearing 


almost, it seemed, to bursting-point, with 
blackened, dried stalks, that might have 
been from beanfield or vineyard, though it 
was difficult to know what further use could 
be expected from them. 

" I do not like it. I do not like it at all," 
he was muttering, puffing moodily at the 
short wooden pipe which was another item 
in the Captain's list of grievances. " A 
match— carelessly flung and— pouf ! ! " 

"What is it you do not like ? " cried 
Jose— as she preferred to call herself— a 
little piqued at such open disregard. 

'And that this young vaurien should have the audacity to aspire to the hand of a descendant of- 

a " sporr-coat " and those plus-fours which 
bid fair to become an international brand 
of origin. 

Presumably he was awaiting the lady of 
his heart, for he could have little other 
business in that neglected by-lane ; but he 
was not looking out for her, remained, in- 
deed, unconscious of her coming until she 
had actually reached him. Instead he was 
gazing frowningly at the high pent-house 
roof of the open wooden barn which, actually 
leaning against one end-wall of the chateau, 
faced the lane, behind a low stone wall 
pierced by a wooden gate. It was filled 

" The grenier there," he explained with 
the same worried air. *' It is dangerous — 
placed like that against the wall of the 
chateau. It is now the season of the 
cheminots — the tramps, ^here are hundreds 
of them — making their way inland from the 
frontiers, in search of work. Poles, Italians 
— of all countries. You may see them any- 
where along the roads — with their fires " 

That he was a Frenchman was evident 
enough from his use of gesture, restrained 
though it was when compared to, for 
instance, that of Captain Ravigot. 

" But " She was still a shade 



annoyed, though impressed by his earnest- 
ness. " What do a few old tramps matter 
to us ? Have we not more important 
things to think about ? " 

*' But, precious one of my heart, consider 
for yourself. That is just the place a 
cheminot would choose for his sleeping- 
place. No doubt there have been hundreds 
there • before, who will not have forgotten 
it. One of them enters — lights his pipe — 
falls to sleep. In this heat — it is like 
tinder, all those stalks. In a minute — and 
you sleep just beyond it ! I am afraid — 
frankly I am afraid for your safety." 

" Rene — I have been talking to my 
grandfather. You must stop Monsieur and 
Madame your father and mother from calling 
upon him. Just now he is enraged. He 
would insult them." 

This time his attention was fully engaged. 
** You mean — he will not permit our 
marriage ? " 

" He will not hear of it for an instant. 
He — oh — he was furious. Almost he cursed 

*' No — that he would never do. He 
loves you too well." 

She shook her head. " As he grows older he 
is always more — how shall I say it ? — more 
buried in those — ^those old stories." She 
smiled wistfully. " Truly he is fonder now 
of that old eagle than of me. Even now 
you may be certain that he is telling it his 
troubles — of my disobedience — everything." 
Tears grew in her dark eyes. " He will 
never consent," she added. " Never." 

" But — but this is tyranny. What good 
reason can he have ? We — yes — we should 
be justified in marrying without his con- 

' * Helas ! my Rene. You are not in 
England now — where you can marry whom 
you will — asking no one's permission. 
Here " 

"It is true," agreed Rene desperately. 
" We can do nothing. But wait," he added 
more hopefully. 

" And — in the meantime — if you should 
find someone you cared for — more than " 

She relapsed into silent tears. Rene, 
casting desperately about him for inspiration, 
became aware — it is true he had marked it 
down previously — of an angle in the wall, 
a few yards up the hill, over which the 
drooping branches of a chestnut hung 
down so as to form a natural bower secure 
from observation. He drew her gently 
towards it. 

An hour later, as Rene was about to enter 

the door of the new counting-house in the 
Grande Rue, he met the works-manager of 
the fibre mill. " I am arranging for two 
extra watchmen to patrol the Joigny ware- 
house, to-night and for the next few days," 
he said casually, *' Toussel, who has just 
driven over from Serpes, tells me that the 
roads are thick with cheminots — all heading 
this way. Foreigners, all of them." He 
spoke with the true Frenchman's contempt 
for all the outer world. *^ This heat is 
bringing them out like flies." 

"I hear that there is a labour-shortage 
at Montigny," agreed Rene. " And that 
the Abeille mills are offering double rates. 
Yes — it is certainly hot enough." He 
removed his hat and mopped his streaming 

*' Pouf ! ! ! " exclaimed M. Moustier, imi- 
tating him. And then, in an angry after- 
thought, " If I had my way, I would expel 
every sacred foreigner from France. Every 
one of them." 

" And then — we should close the mills 
down from lack of labour — hein ? " said 
Rene, entering the office-door with a 
laughing farewell. And indeed, although 
just then the franc was cataracting down- 
wards as had the mark before it and 
pessimists were everywhere prophesying 
the ruin of France, never had the Serigny 
mills been more overwhelmed with orders 
and never had the shortage of labour been 
more in evidence. A fact the explanation 
of which we may leave to the political 

Although what the cinemas would call 
his " strong heart-interest " had for the 
moment overcome his latent anxiety, Rene 
remained seriously uneasy at the thought 
of the store of inflammable material heaped 
up against the home of his beloved. Twice 
in the course of the night he patrolled the 
lane, to reassure himself. Everything was 
quiet and he made his way home deter- 
mining to bring his influence to bear — re- 
inforced perhaps by golden arguments — 
upon Pere Saindoux, the metayer who farmed 
the Captain's land, to remove his bean- 
stalks to a safer resting-place. 

Next day, as it happened, business took 
him to Serpes and there detained him over- 
night. Immediately on his return, late the 
following afternoon, he sought out Father 
Saindoux and obtained his promise that the 
barn should be emptied within twenty-four 
hours. Very much easier in his mind, he 
yet set out, shortly after midnight, crossed 
the valley and entered the uphill lane 



beside the chateau. It was a brilliant night, 
the moon almost blazing, as it seemed, in a 
cloudless sky, while the heat, thrown out 
by the stone walls bordering the lane, which 
had stored it during the day, was almost 
unbearable. He passed the little green 
door where he was accustomed to wait for 
Josephine and came to the gate giving 
access to the barn. As he leaned across it 
he was at once aware — for it was almost as 
bright as day — of three dark forms stretched 
at full length at the foot of the bean-stalks. 
Before he had decided what to do, for your 
cheminot is a desperate fellow, especially 
when in superior numbers, one of them 
sat up on end and fumbled in his clothes. 
There was a scratching noise and a little 
blue flame sprang into being. 

At this confirmation of the picture his 
imagination had formed Rene could not 
restrain an exclamation. The wakeful 
tramp, hearing it, looked round — his face 
gleaming ghost-like in the moonlight — and 
sprang to his feet. " Chutt ! ! " he cried in 
a hissing whisper, and then something about 
the " flics," which, as Rene knew, is a slang 
name for the police, and proved that at least 
one of the detested cheminots was not a 

Presumably all three had something on 
their consciences, for at the dreaded word 
the detected sleepers one and all took flight, 
running across the front of the barn in the 
direction uphill and away from the gate, 
presumably to climb the wall somewhere 
further up and so escape towards the forest. 

For a moment Rene thought of pursuit, 
but before he could do anything a sudden 
spurtle of flame told him that the worst . 
had happened. The startled tramp had 
flung down the lighted match ; the tinder- 
dry stalks caught in an instant and even as 
Rene watched a veil of flame flung itself 
across the face of the pent-house and burst 
up high above the roof. 

He realised that only one thing was left 
for him to do — to warn the sleepers in the 
chateau. There was no water available 
nearer than the little river half a mile below. 
Even a fire-engine properly equipped might 
have wrought in vain against the inferno 
which was already in being — a few scared 
peasants with buckets, which was the best 
to be hoped for in Serigny, could not even 
have approached it. Rene waited not a 
moment, but ran down the lane, crying his 
loudest, " Au Feu ! ! Au Feu ! ! ! " though 
with little hope that anyone could hear. 

In this, however, he was lucky. At the 

corner where the lane debouched into the 
high road a man appeared, possibly a 
tramp, for he seemed to have been resting 
by the roadside. To him Rene gave hasty 
instructions to hurry to the gendarmerie 
station in the village, thence to telephone 
to the night-watchman at the mills with 
instructions to rouse the trained workers 
who made up the private fire-brigade. For 
himself, knowing that he could gain no other 
admission at such an hour, he set himself 
to climb the tall iron gates that formed the 
principal approach to the house. 

By that time the red glow of the increasing 
flames was lighting up both sides of the 
narrow valley, and already he could hear 
excited voices and the echo of running feet. 
Encouraged by the thought that help was 
at hand, even though it were late in coming, 
he set himself to his difficult task and at 
last, with some sacrifice of clothes and skin, 
found himself within the garden. 

The flames from the pent-house were 
already twisting and writhing round the 
corner of the building and thick smoke - 
wreaths were eddying along the front, so 
that it was impossible to know whether the 
inmates had already been aroused. There 
were, as Rene knew, five people in the 
house, the Captain, Josephine, a man and 
woman who acted as half-servants and half- 
boarders, doing the work of the house for 
their board and receiving no payment, and 
a little girl their daughter. 

Before he reached the foot of the terrace 
the sound of voices coming through the 
smoke told him that some of them at least 
had reached the open air, and as he mounted 
the stone steps that led to it, the man, 
Jean, appeared at the head of it, supporting 
the Captain, their white night-clothes 
gleaming wraith-like through the smoke. 
Close behind them followed Madame Jean, 
carrying the little girl in her arms. 

Rene stopped for a moment, his face 
blanching. " Mademoiselle ? '' he cried. 
*' Mademoiselle Josephine— where is she ? " 

Jean stared at him stupidly. " M. le 
Capitaine," he stammered. " He is not 
hurt. He has swallowed some of the smoke^ 
but " 

" Ass ! Idiot ! ! " cried Rene. " Made- 
moiselle — she is safe ? " 

" We have not seen her," explained the 
woman, less bemused than her husband. 
And added, half-apologetic and half-sullen : 
" I had Felicite here to think of," 

But Rene was no longer within hearing. 
Dashing up the steps and across the terrace, 


covering his mouth with his handkerchief am here. I was waiting for you. I knew 

as he ran, he made his way to the entrance- you would come." 

door and rushed into the central hall of It was indeed his beloved, standing peace- 

the house. Everything was still within fully at the open door of the salon. She 

it ; bars of moonlight Iving athwart it wore a very becoming negligee over her 

" Rene did not deposit his burden before he had reached the seat on which the Captain had collapsed." 

from the great windows at the further end. nightgown ; she showed no perturbation 

Rene stopped to consider his next step, in voice or manner ; most remarkable of 

Before he could decide upon it, for he did all, carefully balanced in her arms was the 

not know in which part of the house was stuffed eagle, complete with its gilded 

Josephine's sleeping-room, he heard his thunderbolts. 

own name, spoken in quiet, almost soothing As Rene stared at her in silent wonder 

tones. " Rene — do not be alarmed. I she spoke again. " There is no danger," 



she said. " None at all — at least not yet. 
I think that the outer wall is too thick for 
the fire to penetrate, and there is nothing 
inflammable except the grenier itself. The 
smell of the smoke awakened me — to find 
that the others had already fled. So I 

" And the Bird of Destiny as well. That 
is really the more important, so if you can 
only manage one at a time you must take 
him first and come back for me. Only— 
be quick — before anyone else comes." 

" I — I don't understand." 

' M. le Capitaine,' he said solemnly, ' I present to you Mademoiselle your granddaughter, and with 

her the Bird of Destiny.' " 

waited for you to come." To his increasing 
amazement she began to laugh softly. 
*' Do you think you are strong enough tq 
carry me ? " she asked. 
" To carry you ? " 

■ Foolish darling— don't you wish to 

marry me 
" But — 

" And can my grandfather refuse his 
consent when you have saved not only his 



granddaughter but his eagle. Hurry now. 
Someone is bound to come in a moment. 
Let me see. You had better take me over 
your left shoulder. No. Not like that — 
you would drop the eagle. Come — I must 
be in your arms — and the nasty old bird 
in mine. There — ^that is better." 

And thus it was that, three minutes later, 
the inhabitants of Serigny, by that time 
increased to a little crowd, saw, and see- 
ing cheered enthusiastically, a young man 
descending the steps of the terrace, carrying 
in his arms at once a fainting young lady 
and a drooping fowl, all of them, except 
perhaps the eagle, coughing painfully from 
the smoke they had swallowed en route. 

Rene did not deposit his burden before 
he had reached the seat on which the 
Captain had collapsed, his long nightgown 
decorously concealed beneath a coat lent 
him by a bystander. " M. le Capitaine," 
he said solemnly, " I present to you Made- 
moiselle your granddaughter, and with her 
the Bird of Destiny, which, like the fabled 
Phoenix, has passed through the flames and 
emerged only the more vigorous." And, 
having achieved the almost impossible feat 
of bowing respectfully, burdened as he was, 
he allowed the sympathetic bystanders to 

relieve him of both the lady and the eagle. 

Strictly speaking, the Captain may be 
said to have gained the honours of the 
game, for, when he died four years later, 
he left to his granddaughter, Madame 
Josephine Monnier-Ravigot, all that he 

possessed, which for all practical purposes 
took the form of a stuffed eagle, mounted 
upon a pink marble pedestal adorned with 
gilded Imperial emblems. To it he added 
the important stipulation, that, every 
twentieth day of April, that being the 
birthday of His Late Imperial Majesty, 
Napoleon IH, Emperor of the French, 
the marble pedestal should be draped with 
violets as a sign that the traditional fidelity 
of the Ravigots would endure for ever. 

" If he had had anything else to leave, '* 
murmured Josephine, smiling through her 
tears, " I might have renounced the in- 
heritance. As it 'is — it is fortunate that 
the birthday happens in the spring, when 
violets are easy to obtain." 

And that is why, if you ever should happen 
to visit Monsieur and Madame Monnier- 
Ravigot at their smart new villa on the hill- 
side above Serigny-le-Chateau, you will find 
in the salon a stufied eagle, considerably 
moulted, but looking very fierce notwith- 
standing, with extended wings and threaten- 
ing beak, standing upon a pink marble 
pedestal conscientiously gilded, eagle and 
pedestal alike being nearly hidden beneath 
fragrant wreaths of fresh violets — ^the flower 
of the Great Napoleon — and with an in- 
scription on a large card balanced among 
the thunderbolts : " Hand Immemor." 

Which does not affect the undoubted fact 
that M. Rene Monnier-Ravigot is one of the 
most prominent supporters of the Republic 
in all the Departement of the Deux- 


'• What's that— carols ? Why, we had them only twelve months ago, didn't we ? " 


By Edtvard F, Spence, 

Obviously Lou-Lou was upset and wanted to 
tell me something. That was shown by the 
twitching of the dainty nostrils of her imperti- 
nent little nose. Certainly I was anxious to 
hear what she wanted to say — for I am a 
woman. Judiciously, I asked no questions, 
since, if I had, she would have held her tongue. 
So we talked of the weather and this and that 
till suddenly she broke out : "All men are 
brutes ! " 

" Including even my husband ? " I asked. 

" Oh, yes, your Edward ! They're all the 
same — some a little bit worse than others, 
that's all the difference." 

" Therefore some must be better than others," 
said I. 

" I suppose, my dear Grace, you think that's 
logic. Fiddlesticks ! " I was silent. Her little 
feet tapped the ground, the delicate, care- 
fully manicured fingers of her left hand drummed 
against the pink palm of the right. " Did you 
ever go to Caledonia ? " 

" * To stern Caledonia's Something Shores,' 
certainly," I replied. " You know Edward and 
I were at St. Andrews last year." 

" I mean the Caledonian Market. I went 
there last Friday." 

It was hard to picture the dainty Lou-Lou of 
the filmy gold hair at the market. 

" You see," she continued, " Saturday was 
William's birthday, and I had to give him a 
present. It's a custom. Very silly, too. Why 
can't he choose something for himself ? " 

" And draw his own cheque for it ? " 

" My darling Grace, you're rather a pig ! 
Mrs. Trotter- Watson said it would be quite the 
place, and took me there. At least, I paid 
the taxi ; our car was out of order. Carburetter 
wants scraping, or magneto burnt, or some- 
thing — I don't understand cars. Quite an ugly 
place Caledonia, and just nowhere." 

I suspect that she knew all about the car. 
Tete de linotte is Lou-Lou's pose, but she's as 
clever as a wilderness of monkeys. 

" We rummaged about and looked at heaps 
of rubbish. The Trotter- Watson did find a 
cheap umbrella, and some dirty real lace, and 
a good luncheon basket, and snapped them up. 
Just when we were leaving, very tired and 
rather grimy, I saw an old man with a lot of golf 
sticks. ' What ho ! ' I thought. William is 
always buying new ones. Not like your Edward, 
who still plays with the first lot he bought." 

" And plays well enough with them," I inter- 
posed, " to give William a fierce game, although 
he's a plus one." 




*' The bag," continued Lou-Lou, " looked 
rotten, but the clubs seemed in good order. 
He ask a pound the lot — nine of them. Mrs. 
Trotter-Watson — but of course she doesn't golf 
— said they were dirt cheap." 

" You mean cheap dirt," I remarked. 

" My sweet Grace, don't try to make epigrams. 
Your good woman style's against it. I took 
them home on an omnibus — I wasn't going 
to pay twice for a taxi — and hid them. I 
couldn't give him his present that day." 

" What's that you're fumbling at ? " I 
interrupted, for her hand was within the V of 
her dress. 

She laughed and pulled out a beautiful jade 

the club we met Father, who was to play with 
William. Rather hard on him, as Father's 
golf is rotten, and my husband has to give him 
scores of strokes." 

How Mr. Champleigh came to be her father, 
or, rather, she to be his daughter, is a puzzle. 
For Lou-Lou is dainty, diaphanous, delicate, 
fastidious, and Mr. Champleigh is gross, heavy, 
red-faced, a horsey, hard-drinking old man of 
good family and bad fortune. 

" Well, we had to wait some time on the tee. 
I was going to walk round, to please William, 
so I spoke to Father about my gift of the clubs, 
and he told the caddie to hand him William's 
bag ; and then William, looking strangely 


Auntie (airing her knowledge) : And what time do they draw the goal-posts, Harold ? 

pendant of a rich green. " It's new. He gave 
it to me on Saturday." 

" That was his birthday, not yours." 

" You dear goose, you'll never understand ! " 
And she threw up her firm little hands. 
"When I gave the sticks — ^I mean clubs — to 
William, he thanked me nicely, but seemed a 
bit cool. He swished one or two, and looked 
rather queer in doing it ; but I hardly noticed, 
for I was looking at the jade pendant— I had 
shown it to him a week before in the shop." 

" There are moments, my sweet Lou-Lou, 
-^hen I think you ought to be a pendant jade." 

She smiled contemptuously. " Next day— 
the Sunday—we went to St. George's after 
lunch. William forgot to put the clubs on the 
car, but I remembered, and he thanked me. At 

embarrassed, said he wasn't using them — 
wanted to get his eye or his hand — I forget 
which — in first. And Father said he'd like to 
see them, and William told him to wait, and 
made rather a point of it. Well, you know 
Father's obstinate." 

"Pigs and mules aren't in it with him," I 

" Father marched off to the dressing-room, 
William following him. In a few minutes 
they reappeared. Father with the bag in one 
hand and the other over his mouth, William 
looking glum. When he got near. Father took 
away his hand and said — 

" ' Are these the clubs, my adorable daughter, 
that you have presented to my estimable 
son-in-law as a birthday gift ? ' 



Yes, father,' I replied, and he burst into " Father couldn't speak, so William answered 

awful roars of laughter. He roared and roared sheepishly : ' My dear, they're left-handed 

till the caddies joined in, and the people who clubs.' 

wanted to drive off turned and said ' Ssh ! ' " ' And pray,' I asked, ' how can a club be 

With an awful effort he held himself in till they left-handed ? ' 


Thoughtless Hostess : Rather than miss our annual gathering to-night, my dear brother Leslie has como 
along here to be with us in spite of having a touch of the 'flu ! 

had driven off— about thirty yards apiece— " ' They're made,' he answered, ' for left- 

and then he burst out again. William looked handed men. A right-handed man can't use 

like a funeral on a wet day. them.' , , 

" With great dignity I asked : ' May I be initi- " ' They'll be as useful to William as a packet 

ated into the mystery of this boisterous mirth ? ' of hair-curlers to a bald man,' said Father, and 



then he began roaring again. Luckily by that 
time their turn came, and of course they both 
fluffed their drives. I marched back to the 
club and took the car home to London. You 
might stop laughing, Grace. I thought you 
were a friend, and when William comes home 
I'll have it out with him." 

'' But what," I asked, " what has poor 
William done ? He " 

" He ought to have told me at the first, 
instead of letting me down like that, and he 
ought to be able to play left and right-handed — 
ambi something they call it. And Father, he'll 
pull my leg for years. And William knows 
what a tease he is, with the sense of humour of 
an intoxicated rhinoceros." 


When the Winter's day is waning, 
When the lamps once more are lit. 
Whilst outside it's cold and r:iining, 
By my blazing fire I sit. 
Sit and watch the flames' mad dancing 
As they join the flery rout. 
Weaving patterns rare, entrancing, 
Madly flying round about. 

In the embers' changeful glowing 
Some can see — if tales be true — 
Pictures of a wond'rous showing 
Leaping shining into view. 
Some see castles tall and stately, 
Fit for Arthur's gallant Knights, 
Bowers where some queen but lately 
Strolled within the rosy lights. 


Dentist (just off for a round of golf, to assistant) : If anyone should inquire, Miss Brown, I'm away on buainesa. 
I have eighteen ca\dties to fill this afternoon ! 

" I'm sure poor William tried to act for 
the best." 

Again she threw up her little hands. " All 
the worst things are done by people acting for 
best — especially husbands." 

'* The French phrase is wrong," said I. 

" What phrase ? " 

** Les absents out toujour s tort.'"' 

" And, pray, what might it be ? " 

" For absents read maris,''' I replied. 

Neighbour: Do you believe that terrible 
rumour about the Jenkinses ? 

Second Neighbour: Of course I do. 
What is it ? 

Though 'tis really most distressing, 
Luck like that is never mine. 
Reluctantly I'll be confessing 
I am but a Philistine. 
When I gaze upon each ember. 
No rare picture charms my soul, 
All I ever can remember 
Is the fearful price of coal ! 

Bmver Mason, 

. " Great Scot ! why do you honk your horn 
all the time ? " said the guest whose host was 
taking him for a drive. " There isn't a car or 
pedestrian ahead." 

"But the baby's behind us. It keeps him 



By Christine Douglas. 

It was a square, solid-looking house, with a 
gabled roof and windows in unexpected places, 
and a board at the end of the drive informed 
the world that this " highly desirable residence " 
was for sale. George leaned on the gate and 
surveyed, first the board, and then the house, 
with kindling eyes. 

"We will take this," he announced. 

right of the front door. " H'm . . . small •, 
dreadfully small." 

I did a little nose-pressing myself, and was 
forced to agree. " And no electric light, George." 

George frowned. " That's a nuisance ! We 
shall have to have that installed before we can 
move in. Let's have a look at the dining-room." 

We crossed to the left side of the front door 
and pressed noses again. " Teh ! " exclaimed 
George pettishly. "Hardly room to swing a 



Visitor : I wonder where 'e gets 'is brains from ? 

" Lovely ! " I exclaimed, and saw myself, 
dressed in white trimmed with silver, sauntering 
graciously over the smooth lawns. 

" A trifle small, perhaps, but we can always 
add on another wing," George said thoughtfully. 
He pushed open the gate, and I trotted beside 
him up the drive. 

" Hope there is a garage suitable to stable 
the EoUs," he went on. " This must be the 
drawing-room " — he pressed his very respect- 
able nose against one of the windows to the 

cat ! How could we possibly seat twenty to 
dinner in that room ? " 

" We could knock two rooms into one ; fold- 
ing doors, you know," I suggested timidly. 

"H'm," said George, and stroked his jaw 

We went round to the side of the house, and 
by the time we reached the kitchen quarters 
our noses were in danger of becoming perman- 
ently disfigured. " Look at that sink ! " I cried 
angrily, peering through the kitchen window. 



" I could never live in a house with a sink like 
that ! " 

'' Is that a sink ? " George asked. " I shouldn't 
have recognised it ! If you ask me, the whole 
place will have to be done up from top to the 
bottom. It is simply a scandal to put a place 
in this condition on the market." 

We went on prowling round the house, and 
George chose a little side room to be his study. 
" But of course we must rip down all that oak- 
panelling," he said. " Worm-eaten, that's what 
it is. Give me a nice wallpaper ; something 
tasty in pink roses and blue ribbons." 

" I don't know what on earth sort of curtains 
to get," I murmured doubtfully. 

draughts, you know. And I noticed that there 
is no servants' hall, and I don't believe there 
can be more than three bathrooms." 

George stared at me in horror. " Good 
Heavens ! Well, that puts the lid on it. After 
all, we have to think of our friends." 

" I suppose so," I murmured sadly. 

" Pity," George said, shaking his head. " I 
don't suppose they want more than four thousand 
for it. Dirt cheap, I call it." 

At the gate we took one last look back at the 
" highly desirable residence " before walkixig 
down the road to inspect the three-roomed flat 
recommended by our agent, but which we feared 
we could never afford. 



Lady : I am afraid I cannot settle your account this week. 
Shopkeeper : That's what you told me last week, madam. 
Lady : Well, I kept my word, didn't I ? 

George slapped his knee. I have it ! We'll 
get one of those house-designing, artistic john- 
nies to rig the place up for us. I dare say he 
could make it first-rate for a couple of 

"And the garden " I began. 

George frowned, and flourished his arms pas- 
sionately. *' We must have all these rubbishy 
plants and trees cleared away. V\^hat about a 
sunk-garden with a pond, gold-fish, and marble 
faun fountain ? And a rose garden and an 
arbour ? The garden at present is absolutely 

" I doubt whether the servants will ever take 
Idndly to those attics up in the gables," I said, 
"" especially cook ; she is very touchy about 


I thought I'd win, 
For I am better-tfar than he. 

I thought I'd win. 
Because the form that I was in 
Was very good. And so you see, 
Till he was two holes up on me, 

I thought I'd win. 

I thought I'd lose. 
Two down and three to go I Ah me ! 

I thought I'd lose. 
None would have wished to wear my shoes I 
But yet we halved. And so, you see, 
We lost our chances, I and he, 
To win or lose. 

John JR. Wilson, 


1926 was a wonderful year for 
School of Accountancy Students 

A few words about Prospects for 1927 

The School still ahead 
of all other Colleges! 

Following the Blue-Riband Record 
for all Britain which The School of 
Accountancy created for 1924 and 
1925 in Accountancy, Secretarial and 
Commercial Examinations, further 
record successes were won by The 
School's students in 1926. These 
include — 

12 First Places 

4 Second Places 
6 Third Places 

5 Fourth Places 
3 Fifth Plac23 

5 Sixth Places 

What The School does 

The School of Accountancy gives 
specialised training for all the 
Accountancy, Secretarial, Banking, 
Insurance, Commercial and Matricu- 
lation Examinations, and for appoint- 
ments such as General Manager, 
Company Secretary, Accountant, 
Works Manager, Cost Accountant, 
Office Manager, Auditor, Cashier, 
Chief Clerk. 

1926 Successes 

Burton ; " Such efficient train- 
ing as I received from The 
School could not fail to bring 
good results, and, still on the 
right side of 40, I am now 
Secretary, at;£i55o a year, of 
the Company I joined as a 
Junior Clerk." 

Molten : " I was greatly im- 
pressed by The School 'smethod 
of tuition. After completing 
my training I was promoted 
Cashier with an increase 
of salary that absolutely 
astounded me." 

Trent ; " I have accepted the 
position of Accountant and 
Assistant Manager of the 
largest Cotton Company in 
Africa. The salary to com- 
mence is an increase of over 
200% on my present salary." 

Mercer ; " I am now the for- 
tunate holder of SEVEN 
Secretaryships of three public 
and three private Companies 
and one Statutory Company." 

J. D. 0. MACKAY, Principal. 

Another year has gone by, a 
year in which the Students of 
The Schoolof Accountancy have 
broken all success records in the 
leading professional examina- 

During 1926 many more students 
of The School gained success 
in abundance and attained high 
positions in business at salaries 
ranging to £1550 a year. 
If you were not one of the men 
who joined The School last 
year, 1927 is before you with 
its splendid opportunities for 
trained men. 

There are still many months 
of long dark evenings ahead, 
evenings when in the comfort 
of your home you can study 
quietly, seriously, for eight or ten 
hours a week. Training like this 
will fit you quickly and surely 
for a responsible well-paid posi- 
tion or to pass one of the leading 
professional examinations. 

Special Neiv Year 

A special offer will be made to 
students who join The School early 
in the New Year. This offer will 
enable you to secure your training 
at considerably reduced cost. Ask for 
particulars when you write and mark 
your envelope " New Year Offer.*' 

A Big Guide to 

Business Careers 


Send for The School's Book, " The 
Direct Way to Success." This great 
Free Guide is the most complete and 
authoritative book on Business 
Careers that has yet been published, 
and has directed more men to 
commercial success than any other 

It tells you about The School's 
tutorial staff — every man an acknow- 
ledged authority on his subject — 
and about the wonderful lesson 
literature that eminent University, 
Professors have declared to be the 
finest of its kind. It tells you how 
you can secure free the personal 
advice and help of the foremost 
business education authority in the 
country. It provides overwhelming 
evidence that The School's tuition 
is far and away the most efficient for 
professional examinations. 






MANCHESTER— 37 Victoria Buildings, Deansgate LIVERPOOL— 22 Sir Thomas Street 
LEEDS— Standard Buildings, City Square 

BIRMINGHAM— 8 Newhall Street 


Mention Windsor Magazine when writing to advertisers. 

To facf matter at end — page 235]. 


By Cyril Elliott. 

All of a sudden he found himself in darkness. 
Vainly he groped and shuffled about, clutching 
at imaginary objects, first with his right hand, 
then with the left. He was hopelessly at sea 
— as completely lost in the darkness as if he 
were in the depths of a huge forest. 

He turned off a little to the right, only to 
strike his leg sharply against some indefinable 
object. Smarting from the pain, he was about 
to call out, when suddenly a dazzling ray of 
light shone out, almost blinding him. 

Next instant he felt a friendly hand in 
his own. "Sorry, sir !" said the attendant, 
examining the number on his ticket, *' I was 
at the bottom end showing another party to 

spent a bit of his time there adds one concerning 
a Scot and his wheelbarrow. 

Donald was hammering away at the bottom 
of his barrow when his wife came to the door. 

" Mon," she said, " you're making much clatter. 
What wull the neebours say ? " 

" Never mind the neebours," replied the busy 
one. " I maun get ma barra mendit." 

" Oh, but, Donald, it's vera wrang to wurk on 
Sabbath ! " expostulated the wife. " Ye ought 
to use screws." 

Arthur and Willie were playing noisily, 
though peacefully, when Willie's mother came 
out to tell the visiting -Arthur that he had better 
go home to dinner. She had just turned to 


Auntie : When I take you to Peterborough I will show you the school I went to when I was a little girl. 
Child (innocently) : Oh, auntie, is it still there ? I expect it's in ruins now, isn't it ? 

then: places when you came in. It's number 
seventeen in this row." 


The proprietor of a boarding-house was asked 
by a musical guest to have the piano tuned. 

" But why should I do that ? " he said. *' It 
sounds good enough to me." 

" But there are two notes in the treble that 
don't even play." 

" Only two ! " repeated the proprietor sar- 
castically. " Why, my dear sir, if you were 
any kind of a player, you'd know enough to 
skip those 1 " 


Of Sabbath-breaking north of the Tweed 
there are many stories, and a tourist who has 

re-enter the house when her offspring threw a 
stone that sent Arthur howling in the direction 
of home. 

" Willie," she demanded sternly, " why did 
you throw that stone at Arthur ? " 

For a moment the inhospitable Willie stood 
abashed, watching the flight of his playmate. 
Then he sighed deeply. " Well," he said, " Ar- 
thur had to go home, anyway." 

A London bus-conductor had shouted " 'Igh 
Oborn ! " until a passenger could no longer 
resist the temptation to make a joke. 

" Excuse me," he said, " but haven't you 
dropped something ? " 

"I see wot you're driving at," returned the 
Cockney keenly, " but never mind. I shall pick 
it up when we get to Hoxford Street." 






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Mention Windsor Magazine when writing to advertisers. 


By Bradley Farr, 

I TOOK off my hat, and secured it on a vacant 
peg. As I turned away to wash, the impression 
lingered of a sad old bowler wagging on its hook, 
its first fine black long since covered by layer 
after layer of dust and cotton. And Angeline 
had asked me to brush it specially, that very 
morning. Really, I must take a bit of trouble 
with it. 

What a story that old hat could tell ! What 
racking of brains it has presided over, so to 
speak. What experiences too — that day it fell 
off the rack in the train to Old Trafford on to 
Angeline's lap ; her chirrup of happiness as she 

brim better. And it is stiffish too. Yes, the 
short one is the one to try first. 

But what is this greasy spot just abaft the 
ventilation hole ? I wonder if a little soap and 
water first would get that off. If I try a nail- 
brush — the attendant is not looking. Ah ! A 
good lather. My word ! The blackest place on 
the hat ! Splendid stuff, soap and water. 

Now I shall have to brush it till all the rest is 
as black as that little island. Yes, it's coming 
off. The dust floats across a sunbeam towards 
the open window. It will come clfean if I keep 

Much better now. 

I'll just go round it once more ; and now this 
bit of the brim. 


" I want — er — some — er — face powder for — er — a New Year present for a young lady.' 
*" Yes, sir. Would you care to taste some ? " 

settled it on my head with a soft little pat ; 
that was before we were married. And that 
evening'^ Simmonds trod on it in the Hippo- . 

" Can't a chap go out for a gin and ginger 
without being tripped up by that old black 
brain-cover of yours ? " Simmonds jerked out 
as he stumbled along the seats. But the hat 
took it all lying down. 

All these thoughts crowded upon me as I 
washed and dried my face. Throwing away 
my towel, I turned to my hat, and almost 
affectionately took it from its peg. I must 
really make a respectable hat of it this time. 

A wonderful selection of brushes are at my 

I like that long one, with . . . no, on second 
thoughts, that stubby one- will get into the 


Where's that long brush ? Yes, you get a 
good sweep with that, but it won't get inside 
the brim. I must just go inside there again 
with the little brush where its . . . 

There ! That would do credit to a Liverpool 
shipper, like that chap Keg over there. 

" Hullo, Keg ! How's business ? " 

" Hullo, Farr ! How are you, old man ? 
Hullo, what are you doing with my hat ? " 


'* You know, it was very wrong of you to tell 
auntie that lie," said granny. " Your con- 
science must be troubling you." 

" Oh no, it isn't, granny," said Molly, promptly. 
" She believed it." 

Printed in Great Britain by Butler & Tanner Ltd., Frome and London 


Amounument of Graham Amplion LimUed, 15, Savile Row, London, W.i. 

Facing Second Cover.] 




S Z 

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" Two years' delay 
cost me £300" 

** I was £s a week poorer for fully two years because I hesi- 
tated so long about starting an I.C.S. Course. That's clear 
enough. Since I woke up and began my vocational training 
with the I.C.S. I've been given a rise of £150 a year, but I'm 
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I.C.S. coupon when I first saw it. 

" It's strange that so many young men fail to see that they 
don't get more money because they don't qualify for it — that 
they are losing £ s d all the time through neglecting to obtain 
a special training." 

For 36 years the International Correspondence Schools have 
been helping men and women to achieve success. Tens of 
thousands of careers have been made brighter, happier, more 
useful, and far more prosperous through enrolling for an I.C.S. 
Course and accepting the opportunity it presents. 

You, too, by studying at home in . j^'xy. 

your own time, can qualify for the j^ I C S 

position you want in the work you /-g ^j^'^ oldest 

like best. | and largest 

All we ask is the chance to prove it. \ schcS^n Uie * 

Without cost, without obligation, just ^^ world ^ 
mark and post this coupon. 


International Correspondence Schools, Ltd., 
96, international Buildings, Kingsway, London, W.C.2 

Please send me your booklet containing full particulars of the 
Course of Correspondence Training before which I have marked 
X. I assume no obligation. 

n Aecountancy & Bk.-kpg. Railway Equip. & Runn'g. 

n Advertising Salesmanship 

n Arch, and Building Shorthand Typewriting 

Commercial Art Showcard Writing 

Draughtsmanship Textiles 

French and Spanish Window Dressing 

General Education Wireless Engineering 

Plumbing Woodworking 

Engineering, all branches, state which 

Professional Exams., state which 

The I.C.S. teach wherever the post reaches, and have over 
300 Courses of Study. If, therefore, your subject is not in 
the above list, write it here 

Name Age 



Australia : 399-401, George Street, Sydney. 

New Zealand : 65, Cuba Street, Wellington. 

South Africa: P.O. Box 1104, JohannesLurg. 

India: Elphinstone Building, Murzpan Road, Bombay. 

Straits Settlements : 137, Cecil Street, Singapore, 

Egypt: Davies Bryan Building, Chareh el Dine, Cairo. 





IT will speedily surrender to 
Potter's Asthma Cure and re- 
lieve you of the intolerable 
irritation. Throat and nasal affec- 
tions of all kinds are soothed and 
cured by the magic effect of this 
proved remedy. 

: Out of doors smoke Potter's Z 

; Smokinsr Mixture & Cigrarettes I 


1I6 per tin from all Chemists, or Ijg, 

post )ree, from 


Nativities carefully calcu- 
lated from bipthtfme, with 
full year's direction - 5/- 
Moon Table Instructor — the 
help in time of need - 2/6 
Test Horoscopes with two 
years' guide to future 

events - 1/- 

THOS. GOULD, " TKe Nook," Heatkfieid Rd., CARDIFF 






tints grey or faded hair 
any natural shade de- 
sired — brown, dark-brown, 
light-brown or black. It is 
permanent and washable, 
has no grease, and does not 
burn the hair. It is used 
by over a million people. 
Medical certificate accompanies each bottle. Of all 
ChefnJsts, Stores and Hairdressers. 2/6 or direct : — 
HINDES, Ltd., 60, Parker Street, Kingsway, London. 

- What is ECONOMY SERGE ?-i 

Serge bought direct from the Mill. 

Prices "frorti 5/- per yard. 
Superb Quality. Patterns free from 

Z. ROSENTHAL, Manufacturer (Dept.H.), 


If Teeth Lack Gleam 
Just Do This 

Gives sparkling whiteness quickly 

Please accept full 10-day tube 
free of this remarkable new 
method that leading dental 
authorities urge . . . note the 
difference in teeth and gums as 
dingy film coat goes. 

The prettiest smile becomes 
ugly when teeth look clouded. 
Now modern science restores 
" ofF-colour " teeth to dazz- 
ling whiteness. 

It's been found that dingy 
teeth come simply from a 
film that forms on teeth. A 
stubborn film old-type den- 
tifrices did not successfully 
remove. That's why brushing 
failed you. 

Run your tongue across 
your teeth and you can feel 
that film now — a sort of slip- 
pery coating. Beneath it are 
the white teeth you envy. 

It absorbs discolorations 
from food, smoking, etc. It 
is the potential cause of most 
tooth troubles and prevents 
proper tooth protection. 

Now, in a new-type denti- 
frice called Pepsodent, a 
scientific combatant has been 
found. Leading dentists 
widely urge It. All chemists 
and druggists have it. lo-day 
test sent free. 

TJ'pTJTy Mail coupon for 
rSXE^E^ 10-Day Tube to 

(Dept, 156), 42, Southwark Bridge Rd., 
London S.E.I. 

TgADE m^K^^^^^I^^^^^'^^^^^ 

The New-Day Quality Dentifrice 

Endorsed b> World's Dental Authorities 


Only one tube to^a^amuy^ «.«■-. — — — — — — •-«■ 

Name . 


Give full address. Write plainly. 

Indtor Ma9., Feb., 1927. 



Gentleman Gains 4i inches in 
9 Weel(S. 

To enable short people to test a 
wonderful Nevir System of In- 
creasing the Height, eyery reader 
of the "Windsor iVIagrazine" who 
ifirants to be taller can have 


NOW is the opportunity of a lifetime, for by 
special arrangement with Mr. Hamilton Stone 
you can have, free of all charge and without placing 
yourself under any obligation whatever, a week's 
free trial of his wonderful system for increasing the 
height. Hundreds of people have written praising 
this system, and saying how in a very few weeks they 
have increased their stature by varying amounts of 
from two to five inches. The following is a specimen 
of the letters constantly being received, and the full 
address may be had on application : — 

Dear Sir, London, S.W. 

I am more than pleased with the wonderful results 
you have accomplished for me in increasing my 
height. From being but 5 ft. 4 in. I have risen to 
5 ft. 8 1 in., which makes me about the average, and 
everyone compliments me on the great improvement 
both in height and appearance, for I am a much 
better man in every respect. 

I had tried other ways in vain, but your system 
has worked like magic, and should be followed by 
all who are stunted in height. 

Yours very truly, 



When you have read my 
book, which will be sent with 
the Free Trial, you will realise 
that science, allied to deep 
study and rare enthusiasm, has 
conquered the problem of 
height-growth, conquered it in 
the most assured manner, for 
my faith and conviction are so 
strong that I am now able to give 
a signed guarantee to increase 
your height. 

Full commanding height, 
with all its rich gifts of pro- 
portion and attractiveness, 
is " Yours for Asking and 
Having." Think of this all 
you who have realised how 
sadly and badly your short- 
ness of stature has told against 
advancement in life, pleasure 
in company and the promo- 
tion of human desires^ 

Send me your name and 

address, say your present 

height and how much taller 

you wish to be, and the free 

trial treatment, together with 

" AmtJier inch !— that makes the free book, will be sent 

you 4i inches taller, while J you post free and under plain 

have increased 3 inches." cover. 




is now more than ever the key-note of success. Boiv-Legged 
and Knock- Kneed men and women, both young and 
old, will be gJad to hear that I have now ready for market my 
new appliance, which will succeasfully straighten, within a 
shc.rt time, bow-leggedness and knock-kneed legs, safely, quickly 
and permanently, without pain, operation or discomfort. Will 
not interfere with j'our daily work, being worn at night. My 
new " LiniStraitner," Model 18, U.S. Patent, is easy to adjust; 
its result willjBave you soon from further humiliation, and im- 
prove ycur personal appearance 100 per cent. 

Write to-day for n\y free copyrighted physiological and 
anatomical book which tells you how to correct bow and knock- 
kneed legs, without any obligation on your part. Enclose 6d. 
P.O. or stamps for postage. 

M. TRILETY. Specialist, 

1472L, W.U. Bldg., Binghampton, N.Y., U.S.A. 

Free to all who have not yet tried it, a package of Lactagol, which 
makes a pleasing beverage of unique benefit to every mother — 
particularly valuable if mother is nursing taby. Lactagol proves 
its value at once. 

E. T. PEARSON & CO., 35, Gordon Sg., W.C.I. 



A well-known Politician states : 
" Yours must be an exact science, 
for you cannot by any other 
means have had previous know- 
ledge of the things which you 
have told me." 

Advice given on Business, Matri- 
monial, Health or Home matters. 
Strictest confidence observed. 
Interesting study and advice sent 
on receipt of birth-date and P.O. 
i/- (Money returned if not satis- 
fied). The Secretary, 21 Maison- 
Astral, Flushing, Netherlands. 
2|d. postage on all letters. 



Cecil Street, Carlisle. 
Dear Sirs, — I would like to offer my thanks 
for the fjreat benefit I have received from 
Urace Tablets. I have been a wreck for over 
two years, and have been under Doctors, but 
they did me no good. I tried Urace for three 
months and I consider myself a new woman ; 
in fact, I can hardly Ijelieve I am cured of 
I would advise others to take a trial of Urace 
Tablets, and I am sure they will benefit, 

Youis truly, Mrs. EATON. 
tTRACE, and URACE alone, can cure Rheumatism. It directly 
attacks the cause— uric acid— dissolves' and expels it from the system 
and prevents its reappearance. That is why it CURES and CURES 
QUICKLY. 1/3, 3/- & 5/- per box, from Boots, Timothy White & Co. 
Taylors, and all Chemists and Stores, or direct from the URACE 
Laboratories (Dept. C2 ), 82, St. Thomas Street, London, S.E.I 


3/- : 

\ &5h I 


box : 



i NOW 


Oranges are a healthful fruit and there 
la no more healthy way of eating them 
than in marmalade. But it must be 
home-made, for then you know it ia 
^r%w absolutely pure and wholesome. 
The " Magic " Marmalade Maciiine will help you to 
make sufficient for the whole year in a few min- 
utes without mess or 'trouble. It cuts oranges 
into fine, even shreds. Can be clamped 
to kitchen table or dresser. The simplest 
. ^ and best machine on the market. 


Obtainable from all good-class Ironmongers, 
Hardwaremen and Stores, price 9/9 eacb. 

The New Universal 
Marmalade Machine. 

A larger model suitable for heavy regular use 

in Institutions, Restaurants, Country 

Houses, etc., 18/" each. 




How Pelmanism is Helping Thousands 
of People To Success. 

Thousands of people in every Business, Profession 
and Trade are increasing their Efticiency and Earning 
Power by means of Pelmanism. 

Pelmanism builds better brains. It banishes 
Timidity. It drives away Depression. It eliminates 
harmful, morbid and " defeatist *' thoughts. It 
cures that " forgetting habit." And on the other 
hand it increases your Mental Energy. It strengthens 
your Will-Power. It gives you Courage, Initiative, 
Forcefulness, Determination and Self -Confidence, It 
gives you a memory you— and others— can depend 
upon. It enables you to take an Optimistic outlook on 
life. It makes your mind keen, alert, thoughtful and 
self-reliant. In short it develops those quaUties 
which lead to Success in life. 

Sir John Foster Eraser writes : " Pelmanism 
quickens Perception ; it stimulates the Imagina- 
tion ; it develops Concentration. It will not 
make the dunderhead into a statesman, but 
it will and does provide a plan whereby we can 
make the best of our qualities." 
Yet Pelmanism — despite its wonderful results on 
the human mind — is quite simple and easy to follow. 
It is also exceedingly interesting. The revised course, 
now ready, embodies the results 
of the latest discoveries in Psy- 
chology and is based on the ex- 
perience gained by the Institute 
in training the minds of over 
500,000 men and women. The 
Course is fully explained in a 
book entitled " The Efficient 
Mind." A copy of this book 
,will be sent to you, gratis and 
post free, to-day on apphca tion 
(either in person or by letter) 
to the Pelman -Institute, 109. Pelman House, 
Bloomsbury Street, London, W.C.i. 

JN otning Oerious^ but- 
well, a warning that your 
throat needs attention 

If your throat is inclined to be weak, 
if you are liable to get hoarse after one 
cigarette too many, or after prolonged 
talking, you will find "Alienburys" 
Glycerine and Black Currant Pastilles 
a boon. Made only from the fresh juice 
' of ripe black currants and pure glycerine, 
they are manufactured according to an 
old French recipe of the House. Keep a tin 
handy. They quickly relieve and soothe 
the throat and clear the voice, and they 
are as luscious as they are effective. 
They contain no harmful drugs, so they 
may be used as frequently as necessary 
with absolute safety. 

Your Chemist stocks them. 

Packed in distinctive tin boxes 
containing : 

2 02;. - - 8d. 

4 02;. ^ -^ 1/3 

8 02;. ^ - 2/3 

1 lb. - . 4/3 

Glycerine & "DA CTTT T T?Q 


37 Lombard Street, London, E.G. 3 


Foots- Bath Cabmet 

/^'HE health value of Thermal (Hot Air or Vapour) Bathing is an estab- 
^L lished fact. Nothing else is so effective in preventing sickness, or for 
^^ the cure of Colds, Influenza, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Blood, Skin, Liver, 
and Kidney Complaints. It eliminates the poisonous matters from the system, 
increases the flow of blood — the life current — freed from its impurities, clears 
the skin, recuperates and revitalises the body, quiets the nerves, rests the 
tired, creates that delightful feeling of invigorated health and strength, 
insures perfect cleanliness, and is helpful in every way. 

Every form of :Hot Air, Vapour, or Medicated Baths can be enjoyed 
privately at home with our Patent Safety Cabinet. When not in use it folds 
mto a small, compact space. 

Write (or Bath Book, B 5, Post Free. 

I— ' •-J ■ J. FOOT & SON Ltd. (Dept. B5), 168, Gt. Portland St,. London, W.i 


The long dark winter saps your strength and your blood 
becomes thin and impoverished. That listless, breathless, 
tired feeling is Nature's warning that your blood needs feeding 
and purifying. For quick and certain results, doctors and 
nurses have found that no Tonic Food does so much as Zomo- 
gen. Test it for one week. Your appetite will improve, your 
eyes will brighten and your cheeks will begin to show colour. 
Depression quickly vanishes, that tired numb feeling leaves 
your brain and you experience a wonderful feeling of well-being 
which lasts. 

Zomogen is not a patent medicine ; it is a liquid blood and 
nerve food, delicious to take and suitable for old and young. 
Zomogen will not injure the enamel of your teeth nor cause 
constipation. ^ 

Sizes 2S. gd. and 5s. If your chemist is unable to supply, 
either size will be sent you, post free (U.K.), on receipt of 
postal order by the miakers : Zomogen Food Products, Ltd., 
Dept. Z., 63, York Place, Edinburgh. 

Our descriptive folder, " Why Zomogen is Invaluable," 
sent post free on application. 





Illustrated with 26 photographs and 80 diagrams. 
Cloth 5s. net. 

Arthur F. Peall is the well-known coach at "Thur- 
ston's," and is admittedly the finest billiard teacher in 
the country to-day, 



Illustrated with over 30 full-page plates and many 

diagrams, *' 

Cloth 2s. 6d. net. 

With special sections on ' * THE WOMAN'S GAME," 

by the late Eustace E. White, 

A t all Booksellers. 

Ward, Lock & Co.,Ltd., Salisburv Sq., London, E.C,4 


For bald-headed and beardless. 

An elegant growth of beard and hair can be produced when using Ck)mos Hair Balsam 
during 8 days. This Balsam causes hair and beard to grow on all bald-headed persons or 
persons with thin hair. " Comos " is the best product of the modern science of thife 
domain, being the only balsam which really produces hair and beard even on persons 
of old age. 

" Comos " brings the dormant Papillse .of the hair to grow again after having been used 
in a few days, and within a very short time you will have a very vigorous growth of hair. 
HARMLESSNESS IS GUARANTEED ; if this is not true, we will pay 


to all bald-headed and beardless persons, or persons with thin hair, 
who have used the Comos-Balsam for three weeks without any result. 

" Comos " gives to the hair and beard a becoming wave, as well as a soft and delicate 
texture. It will be sent on application to the head works all over Europe, against pay- 
ment in advance or against cash on delivery. Out of Europe, payment only in advance. 
THE COMOS- MAGAZINE, Copenhagen V. DenmarK 22 



Simple heigrht increaser. Will add 3, 4, or 
more inches to your height ; for either sex. . 

Particulars free. 
W. M. EDISON, 39. Bond Street, BLACKPOOL. 

rn T A M: IMC JB R I N^ G 


Genuine Thorough Cure in 40 Days. 
Helpful Book Free for 2d. stamp. 
W. M. BURTON, 5 Rossendale Rd., St. Anns's-on-Sea. 


means '^ BEAUTY OF FiGURE," 

How you can obtain a perfect Bust and a grand symmetrical figure in a few weeks 
I within the privacy of your own home without trouble or inconvenience. 

There is no reason why every woman should not acquire or regain a perfect figure and 
be fascinating. For those who lack the natural development of bust a new and remarkable 
treatment has been devised. It is called ** Diano," and is positively harmless. This 
treatment will quickly develop the bust six inches, and any woman can use it at home in 
the privacy of her own apartments. Failure is unknown, and the cost is slight. It fills 
out all hollow and flat places, adds grace and beauty to the neck, softens and clears the 
skin. Beautiful women everywhere owe their superb figures, perfect health, and match- 
less loveliness to " Diano." 

Do you feel yourself deficient as to a plump, well-rounded figure ? Is your bust measure- 
ment all that you desire ? Are there hollow places above and below your collar-bone ? Whatever you 
may lack in the way of perfect form or figure Nature will supply for you if you use the "Diano" 
method. A new beauty book sent free in plain sealed wrapper. Write to-day, enclosing stamp to 
pay postage, to Lady Manager, 

ESPAN0L4 MEDICINE CO. (Dept. 257), Palace House, 128, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W.I 










" When you come to the end of a Perfect Day, 
And you sit alone with your thought, 
While the chimes ring out with a carol gay, 
For the joy that the day has brought.'* :- 
This is an American song, written and composed by Carrie Jacobs-Bond, and it 
had an instantaneous success in this country. The happiest day in your Hfe will be 
when you can sit down and review your acts with the knowledge that on that day you 
made your future secure, provided for your dependants and yourself against all " the 
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune " by means of a Life Assurance Policy. To 
crown the Perfect Day you need a perfect policy, and that policy is the ** Security 
System " of Guaranteed Life Assurance, issued by ' 


Its outstanding feature is that it leaves nothing to chance : everything is guaranteed 
in the Policy. 

Guaranteed Surrenders and Loan Values. 
Guaranteed Options in Lieu of the Sum 
Assured. Guaranteed Options during the 
Currency of the Policy. Disability Benefits. 
Write for explanatory leaflet " K. " 4. 


[(ESTABUSHED 1825.) 

LONDON: no, Cannon Street. E.C.4 ; and 15a, Pall Mall, S.W.I. 
DUBLIN : 59, Dawson Street. 




Never neglect a cough or cold. " Catch it young " and thus 
avoid risk of long and serious illness. A few doses of Powell's 
Balsam of Aniseed will generally suffice. 

This grand century-old remedy for coughs and colds and 
winter ills should be in every home. It is safe, swift and 
certain and can be freely given to children and invalids. It 
soothes, warms and strengthens the throat, chest and lungs, 
and protects them against further attacks. Look for the 
" Lion, Net and Mouse " — it is your guarantee against deception. 



1/3, Z/- & 5/- Bo's. 

From Boots, Taylors, Timothy White, 
all Chemists and Stores, or direct from 


Household Linen 

Hutton's Irish Linen Bargains, are Bargains in a 
double sense ; by ordering direct from Hutton 's 
the home of fine linen you not only get rock 
bottom prices, but tip -top quality into the 
Bargain — the finest linen in the world — linen that 
will outlast the ordinary kind many times over. 



Ladies Fine Hemstitched Irish 
Linen Handkerchiefs with narrow 
hem. Exceptional 

Size Per doz. 

n inches .. 3/8 
12 ,. .. 5/- 

14 ,. .. "y/e 


Irish Lin=u Double D'aniaskTaole 
Cloihi of real good 'quality made 
from the best linen 
yarns and bleached 
on the'green fields of 
Northern Ireland. 
These lovely cloths 
will wear for years. 
•* Hydrangea " de- 
Mens Hemstitched (l^i y . MgT sign, as illustrated. 

Irish Linen Hand- T^^a^ Ml iHWi^f ^^^® ^'^'^* 

kerchiefs. I jaStk^WjHfm9^^»J^\ 2 by 2 yds. 16/6 

17 inches .. 8/0 \\^ ivW ^ \r ^vT • ., r • \.t i- 

g 10/6 ^^ jb V50 ^^ 22" Lmen Napkins 

19 II . . 12/6 C3»^ >-' to match. 6 for 9/9. 

Send your orders for Cash on Delivery. ' We pay postage and all charges 
on parcels o/ml- or over. On orders under zol- add 6d. for postage 
Goods notapproi'ed can be retttrued to be exchanged or money rejunded. 

^4^-J-f^ f^ 123, Main Street, 






Cut into a *' Bermaline '* loaf, 
note its appetising fragrance. 
No matter whether it is 
Breakfast, Lunch, Tea or 
Dinner, you will enjoy and 
benefit by the delicious slices, 
full of goodness. You cannot 
judge " Bermaline " until you 
have tasted it, so start with 
it to-day, then you will know 
how really good, good bread is. 



Write Montgom- 
erie & Co., Ltd., 

Factory. Ibrox, 

Glasgow, for 
name and arfrf- ««c^v«^.^,^^.^s^ 
ress of yoiirnear- ^^ g /^ 
est "Bermaline "— *^^~— ^^ 








U/6 a tin at all chemists. 


is a 

distinguishing feature 

of advertised goods. 

The everlasting 


No. 82. 

Safety Lever Self- 
Filling. In Three 
Colours with White 
Inset — Black, 
Mottled, Tan. 



Fitted 14 ct. 

Gold Nib. 

Tipped Hard Iridium. 

Every Pen Guaranteed. 

To be had of Stationers ^ or 
Sole Makers : 


Dept. 8. 





OVl. li" Twill, extra strong 

1/6 pair. 

OV44. li" Art Silk, extra 

long stretch 1/6 pair. 
OV13. li" Art Silk, fancy 

frill ... 1/11 pair. 
OV5. li" Art Silk, extra 

strong ... 2/6 pair. 

f % 

For MEH'S wear ask for 



Now so much favoured as the 
Suspender of comfort. 

GP90...1/6 GP100...1/11 

GP122 Art Silk, attractive 

check designs 2/6 pair 

SPHERE BRACES. Each Pair Guaranteed. 
BA440 ... 2/6 pair. BA353 ... 2/11 pair. 
BA887 Sphere O-So-Comfy Brace, no metal 

to soil the shirt, very light in weight 3/6 „ 
BA879 Art Silk Elastic, very superior brace 4/6 „ 
Obtainable from Leading Outfitters, Drapers, etc. 
Manufactured by 

Faire Bra's. & Co., Ltd., Leicester. 



Cloth, 7AX5. Fully illustrated. 

Including Buns, Biscuits and other Dainties. 350 Recipes. 


With instructions on the making of Preserves, Marmalades, 
and Pickles, How to Bottle Fruit and Vegetables, etc., etc. 


Containing full instructions on making and mixing in- 
gredients for Tarts, Soufifles, Omelets and Fritters. 


Includes about 350 Recipes for every conceivable kind of 
Cold Sweet, Jelly, Cream, Fruit Dish, Ice Pudding, 
Sorbet, etc. 


With instructions on the making of Sauces for Fish, 
Meat, Vegetables and Puddings, and on the making of 
Broths, and Thick and Clear Soups. About 300 Recipes. 


A useful handbook with instructions on the making of 
Cheese and Egg Dishes, Sandwiches, Salads and Dressings. 
350 Recipes. 


With information concerning Sauces, Stuffings, Trussing 
and Carving. 300 Recipes. 


Including Sauces, Also instructions for serving and car- 
ving. 350 Recipes. 


Ward, Lock & Co., Ltd., Salisbury Sq., London, E.C.4 




"^ were 

>vould have, 






FLUXITE is sold in tins, price Sd., 1/4, and 
21 S, Another use for Ftuxite: Hardening 
Tools and Case Hardening Ask for leaflet 

on improved metnods, 
FLUXITE Ltd. (Dept. 201), Rotherlthe, S.E.16 

I.D.C. Mackay 

Principal ' 

The School of 


Let me guide you to 
Success in business 

For over sixteen years I have been 
planning successful careers for men 
anxious to make headway in business, 
and due to my guidance, thousands of 
men who were in precarious, indif- 
ferently-paid routine jobs, are now 
occupying well-paid positions with 
brilliant prospects. 

£1550 A YEAR 

a recent success 
BURTON — one of our students writes : " 1 
am now, on the right side of 40, Secretary 
of the Company I joined as a junior, at a 
salary of £1550 per annum/' 

Tributes from famous men 

VISCOUNT INCHCAPE says : ^^ There is no better 
training for business than that given by The 
S:hool of Accountancy .'' 

PROFESSOR L. R. DICKSEE, M.Com., V.C.h.y has 

given The School's methods his unqualified 

Let me plan your career 

Write to me personally at our London 
address stating your age, education and 
business experience, and I will advise you 
confidentially and without the slightest 
obligation on your part. Mark your letter 
"Preliminary Advice.** 

The Direct Way to Success— FREE 

This is a big volume containing a wealth of information 
about business careers. It tells how The School can 
train vou by post to qualify for sucli positions as 
Manager, Accountant, Auditor, etc., and it provides 
overwhelming evidence that The School's tuition is 
the most efficient for professional examinations. 

The School of Accountancy 

Secretaryship — Banking— hisurance 



vj Victoria Buildings, Deansgate, Manchester ; 22 Sir 
Thomas Street, Uverpool ; Standard Buildings, City 
Square, Leeds ; 8 Newhall Street, Birmingham. 


Bfitflnnic and Best 

See the name 
"Britannic" is en- 
graved inside the 
hand, because very 
inferior imitations 
are offered as 
"Britannic" Brace- 
lets hy unscrupulous 

•Britannic" Expanding Bracelet has made an un- 
rivalled world-wide reputation for its durability and the 
signs. These bands are fully 

* riv; 

charm of its various designs. These bands are fully guaran- 
teed for five years, and the springs will be renewed, free of 
charge, any time during that period, through any jeweller. 

The ** Britannic " may be seen at all good-class jeweUets complete wth 
watches in various styles from £4 10s. Also "Bntanmc Expanding 
Bands alone with hooks, to replace straps. 

Jhe Queen of Watch Bracelets 




Cloth. 7 X 4 J. 2s. 6d. net. Velvet leather, 5s. net. 


Cloth. 8J X 5f . With portrait of the Author. 5s. net. 
MARY. A Tale for the Mother-hearted. Wrapper, 15. net. 




Crown Octavo. Cloth. 
At all Booksellers 






















Wrappers in Colours. 
At all Booksellers. 














A delicious assortment con- 
sisting of 3 Caramels and 2 
Caramel-Chocolates, each 
one separately wrapped in a 
bright foil or fan-tailed 

(The 2 Caramel-Chocolates purchased 
separately cost 8d. per i lb.) 



is good 


Victoria Park, London 


Famous General's Tribute to New 
Pelman Method of Learning Languages. 

"I find that the Pelman method is the best way 
of learning French without a teacher," 


G.C.M.G., K.C.B., D.S.O. (H 682). 

"I have learnt more and better French in the last 
four months than previously I had learnt in thrice 
that period." (M 241). 

The above letters are typical of the thousands 
received from readers who are learning French, 
German, Italian or Spanish, by the new Pelman 
method which is revolutionising language 
teaching in this country. 

This Wonderful new method enables you to 
learn French in French, Spanish in Spanish, 
German in German, and Italian in Italian with- 
out using a word of English. The method is so 
simple that even a child can understand it and 
so easy (grammatical complexities are avoided) 
that you learn the particular language you are 
studying in about half the usual time. 

The Pelman method of learning languages is 
explained in four little books entitled respectively 

How to Learn French. How to Learn German. 
How to Learn Spanish. How to Learn Italian. 

You can have a free copy of any one of these 
books by writing for it to the Pelman Institute 
(Languages Dept.), 109, Pelman House, Blooms- 
bury Street. London, W.C.i. 

State which book you want and it will be sent 
you by return, gratis and post free. Write or 
call to-day. 


inside informalion 

Ha$ it a 



Look tor tbo 

Paragop-Foz mark 

on tile frame. 














Beautiful Compiexioo. 



At all Booksellers and Bookstalls, 3/6 net. 





Motoring Correspondent to "The Westminster 

Gazette," and many of the leading Provincial 

and Colonial Papers. 

No one is better qualified to write for 
owner-drivers than an owner-driver, and 
the author, being one of long-standing, has 
wide experience of the difficulties that 
beset the amateur. 

He gives, therefore, in the language of 
the owner-driver himself, not the technical 
advice of the repair shops, but sound, well- 
tried hints that have served him well 
through many years on the road. 


Ward, Lock & Co. Ltd., Salisbury Sq., London, E.C.4 

Advertisements for insertion in the March 

Number of the Windsor Magazine should be 

received, at latest, by January 28th, at Warwick 

House, Salisbury Square, London, E.G. 4. 



Picture Boards. 10 x 7^. With 12 Plates in Colour and hundreds 
of illustrations in tints. Humorous Endpapers. 6s. net. 


The Daily Telegraph says—" If you seek a book which children 
who can read at all will enjoy, and which every child who can 
understand a story will listen to with delight, here it is." 


The Romance of the Road 
Every boy and girl who has a bicycle or enjoys an occasional 
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as about cars and motor-cycles of every description. 




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The Wonder Book 

The W^onder Book 

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The Wonder Book of 

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The Wonder Book 


Series constantly brought up to date. 

The Wonder Book of 
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The Wonder Book 
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Game Stalking) 
The Wonder Book of 





ITS glorious to wash with Price's 
Lavender Soap* The water seems 
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invigorating. The natural odour 
of sweet lavender exhilarates, and 
the soothing lather cools the skin 
and creates a healthy complexion. 



Lavender Soap 

— It captures the secret of the^ true 
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^''per tablet 
2^per l>ox of 6 i-^Mm i 

Made by Price*s Soap Company, Ltd*, 
at the Thames Soap Works, Greenwich, 

or your 

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De Luxe Model* 
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Bire Pnrchase. Easy Terms. 



Hint:, REPAIR, AND 2Ss= 

AH Makes of l-ypewrlters & Duplicatow 
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- Write for Bargain^List 4a 
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EC 0A/£ BALL OFja^am 



deans larjre Cafp«t like new. 9d. at all 
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* 88. Albany Works, BATH. 




The famous chair beloved of the undergraduate 
Long, low seat, luxurious upholstery. The 
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From £1 : 17 : 6 C°hoK 

Larger sizes: 47/6, 57/6, 62/6, 72/6. 


Cienaiae "Varsity" Chairs are only 
obtainable from Minty's of Oxford. 
Write for Catalogue of the Mintff Oxford 
" Varsity" Chairs & patterns of coverings. 
k. (Dept. 53). 

yainty 44 High Street. 
^VjiS^ Oxford. 







The assurance of comfort- 
able repose appeals to every 
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Vapo-Cresolene gives quick 
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Avoidance of internal medication. Prompt 
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Invaluable for Coughs, Colds, Bronchitis Influenza, 
Spasmodic Croup, Whooping Cough, and Catarrh. 

_ 88. Albany 

Sotd bp alt Chemists. 
Write for descriptive booklet No. 5<5, to 


Lombard Street, LONDON, EC3. <|>R6 


" The Best Cookery Books in the World " 



M?§ Beeton's 


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Containing over 4,000 Recipes, besides hundreds of Illustrations and many Coloured Plates. 
Forming a complete guide to COOKERY IN ALL ITS BRANCHES, including Daily 
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Also Half-Morocco, 258. net ; and Half-Calf, 31s. 6d. net. 

Mrs. BEETON'S FAMILY COOKERY Strongly Bound. 8/6 net 

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manv Colour Plates. 


Contains about 2,500 Recipes, 768 pages and numerous Colour Plates and other Illustrations. 


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Ov?r 1,200 specially selected Recipes, nearly 200 Fine Illustrations and 8 Colour Plates. 
^84 pages. 

Mrs. BEETON'S COOKERY Limp Cloth. 1/3 net 

Contains about 650 Recipes for Everyday Dishes, and General Instructions in the Art of 
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At all Booksellers, 





THE "CHALLENGE" (Patent No. 22642/12). 

W. JELKS & SONS are the patentees of the best and simplest COMBINED BILLIARD AND DINING TABLE on the market. 
The simplicity of construction is one of its greatest recommendations. There are no intricate mechanical contrivances to get out of 
order and which constantly require an expert to rectify. Prices quoted are for cash, but Payment spread over One, or Two or Three 
years by arrangement at an additional charge of 5 per cent., 7| per cent, or 10 per cent, SPECIFICATION.— Superior make, 


superbly polished, fitted thick slate beds, best low and fast cushions 

ACCESSORIES include 4 Cues. Rest. Mark- 
ing Board, Rules. Spirit Level, and 3 Ivory or 
Composition Balls. 


5 ft. 5 in. by 2 ft. n in £22 

6 ft. 6 in. by 3 ft. 6 in 25 4 

7 ft. 6 in. by 4 ft. Oin 32 10 

8 ft. 6 in. by 4 ft. 6 in 42 10 

(built up strip), and covered with a superfine cloth. 

1 ogany. 

SECOND-HAND Billiard Tables by all the . 
best makers alwaiys in stock at low prices 
Particulars Post Free. 


BeaatifaUy lUas- 

trated Coloar 

List of everything 

relating to Billiard 

and Bagatelle 



Light Mahogany, Antique Ma- 
Fumed Oak, Full- 
Oak, Antique Oak. 

Any table packed 
and sent to any 
part of the world 
on receipt of 
cash with order, 
or through the 
usual shipping 
channels in this 


Same superior make as our Combined-Billiard Dining Table. Thick Slate 

Beds, etc. ACCESSORIES.— Two Cues, Rest, Marking Board, Rules, Level, and 

3 Ivory or Composition Balls. 


. £6 15 01 7 ft. 4 in. by 3 ft. 10 in. ..£14 10 

. 8 15 8 ft. 4 in. by 4 ft. 4 in. .. 20 

. 9 15 01 9 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. Oin. .. 27 10 

4 ft. 4 in. by 2 ft. 4 in. 

5 ft. 4 in. by 2 ft. 10 in. 

6 ft. 4 in. by 3 ft. 4 in. 

WTFT KS&SONS 263-275, HollowayRd., London, N.7 
• */ JLUI JLJ Mlk^UJ Wt Ujy^L ^ %J J One niinut* from Hollo way Ed. Station, Piccadilly and Bromptjn Tube Ely. 
The World's Largest Billiard Table Dealers. , , . „ 

Telegrams : " Jellico, London." Phones : North 2598, 2599. „„^„^„^ , ^^ JS?y^4^ * J?^' e°,'™*i?.'k 

Codes : Western Union (Universal Edition). A.B.C. 5th EdiUon. SHIPPERS AND THE TRADE SUPPLIED. 

picturcof a 

It is a supet-quality Patent Oxford, neady 
perforated for Evening and dress wear. Its 
lines indicate lightness and flexibility, and 
it is made by an entirely new, adhesive 
process, free from tacks and nails. Price 
20/- per pair. 

If you favour a really smart shoe for dressy 
wear, vou will find this all you expect it to be. 

In CM of difficulty Write to:- C. W. HorreU. 
Ltd.. Sh^makcr*. Ruihdeo. Notthanta 

of the 



_ PEN 

Specially designed to secure smooth, easy penman- 
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scratch, spurt or dig Into the paper. Made of non- 
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Try a 6d. box of 12. 

Of all stiitionert or from 
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rLearn to Write-i 


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HUNDREDS of publications require articlea and short stories 
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IntnrPStina Write NOW for a free copy of "How to 

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and to earn while they learn. 


13, Victoria Street, London B.W.I. 



PROSPECTS judged by your horoscope ; 
send birthdate, P.O. 2s. 6d.—Mvs. Mor- 
gan, 27, Derwent Street. Llanelly. 

64-page BOOK ABOUT HERBS and how to 
use them. 2a!. Send for one. — Trimnell 
the Herbalist, Richmond Road, Cardiff. 



— Boys between the age of 6 and 14 J 
years prepared for Public Schools and 
Royal Navy. Magnificent situation. 
'Phone, Ventnor 127. — Rev. A. E. 
Kirkland, M.A. (Headmaster). 

Boarding and Day School for Boys. 
Excellent School-rooms, Laboratory 
and Carpenter's Shop, Physical training. 
Central heating. Preparation for Ox- 
ford and Cambridge Locals, the London 
Matriculation, etc. Further particulars 

. from the Principal. 


sell Square. 3,500 Rooms. With 
Breakfast, fro m ys. gd. 

AMESBURY, WILTS.— Motorists, Cy- 
clists and Pedestrians will find the 
NEW INN a homely Resting Place. 
Tea Room overlooking Garden, away 
from Dust and Noise. All Cakes, 
Jam, etc., home made. 'Phone 55. 
-Mrs. A. H. Corp, Proprietress. 

ABERYSTWYTH.— The Queen of Welsh 
Watering Places. Grandest scenery in 
the British Isles. Amusements and 
recreation in plenty. Historic and ro- 
mantic associations. Delightful tours. 
Plentiful supply of pure water from 

\ Plynlimon Mountain. Illustrated sou- 
venir and list of lodgings on application 
to Guide Dept., Bureau, Aberystwyth . 

BATH for Health and Holiday. Season 
J anuary to December. Ful 1 programme 
of entertainment throughout the year. 
Illustrated Guide, Accommodation List, 
and all information from Inquiry De- 
partment, Th e Pump Room, Bath. 

BETFA S T.^=R B 1 NS JP S~T E M P . 
HOTEL, 82, Donegall St. — Commercial 
and Family, Over 40 rooms. Electric 
light. Central for railways and steam- 
ers. Apply for tariff. 'Phone 2141. 
Tels., " Robinson's Hotel." 

LEIGH (Late St. Martin's) Pte. Hotel. 
Central for Lakes and Pier, Electric 
Light throughout. Separate Tables. 
Garage. Miss E. M. Walters. 


(Unlicensed). An Ideal Winter or Sum- 
mer Residence. Highly Recommended. 
Central Heating. Noted for Cuisine and 
Comfort. 'Phone Bovey 59. Tariff, 
address Proprietors. 


Close to the Celebrated Hove Lawns 
and Directly Facing Sea. Private 
Tennis and Croquet Lawns. Illustrated 
Tariff on application. 'Phone Hove 

3404. — Resident Proprietor. 

HALL HOTEL.— Facing Sea. Board- 
residence from 3^ gns. inclusive. Bed- 
rooms with H. and C. Water and Gas 
Fires. Every Modem Comfort. For 
Tariff and Guaranteed Menus, apply 
W. L. C, Manager. 


— Charming situation, in own grounds, 
overlooking Bristol Channel and Welsh 
Hills. Terms Moderate. Hot and 
Cold Baths. Five minutes Pier. Fif- 
teen minutes Train and Links. Stan- 
cliff No. 2, in same grounds a few yards 
to left. 'Phone 4. Tels., "StancM." 
Apply Mr. & Mrs. F. Jefferies. 

Road. On the level. Full south 
aspect. Standing in its. own grounds, 
overlooking the gardens. 'Phone 541. 

DROITWICH.— The Brine Baths Spa.— 

Renowned for Treatment of Rheu- 
matism and all Allied Conditions. 
Illustrated Booklet of Treatments, 
Amusements, Charming District, Hotels, 
etc., free from Berkeley HoUyer 52, 
Corbett Estate Offices, Droitwich. 

DROITWICH (SPA).— The Worcestershire 
Brine Baths. 150 Rooms (Bedrooms on 
Ground Floor). Electric Light. Hard 
and Grass Courts. New 18 -hole Golf 
Course. Garage. A.A., R.A.C. 
Moderate Inclusive Terms. Write for 
Descriptive Tariff. 'Phone 2. T. R. 
CuUey, Manager. 


HOTEL (420 feet). Five miles Reserved 
Trout Fishing Free to Guests. Stag, 
Fox, Otter Hunting. Hunters for Hire. 
Own Farm and Dairy Produce. Tennis. 
Billiards. R.A.C. and A.A. 'Phone 2. 
Wire — " Nelder." 

Own Grounds. South Aspect. On Sea 
Front. BilUards: Full-size Table 
(Thurston). Croquet. Table d'Hote. 
Separate Tables. Golf, i8-hole Course, 
I mile. — Apply, Mr. and Mrs. J. Ban- 
bury, Proprietors. 'Phone loi Fal- 


On Sea Front. Facing Pier and Band- 
stand, and near amusements. Dancing 
and picnics. Own farm produce. 
Garage, Excellent Cuisine. Chatsworth 
— 'Phone 130. Marlborough — 'Phone 

_ ^26. — Mr. and Mrs. Dawson, Proprietors. 

HARROGATE.— On Yorkshire Moors. 
The air is naturally piure and bracing. 
The " Cure " is, of course, second to 
none the wide world over, and renders 
the German and Austrian Resorts 
absolutely unnecessary. — For details of 
hotels, trains,, and Harrogate gener- 
ally, write F. J. C. Broome, Dept. W.L., 

Valley Drive.^ — Close to Valley Gardens 
and Moors. Four minutes to Pump 
Room and Baths. Excellent cuisine ; 
liberal table. Tel.: 1120. — The Misses 
Ch ard and Hodgson, Proprietresses. 

shine and pleasure all the year round. 
Warm in Winter ; cool in Summer. — 
Write Box W.L., Town Hall, Hastings, 
for particulars of our 12 Months' Season. 

and best. No Trams or Traffic. 
Magnificent Ball Room and Silver Grill. 
Headquarters Local Rotary Club. 
'Phone Hastings 201, 

class Hotel. Excellent cuisine. Finest 
position on Sea Front. Away from 
Trams and Traffic. 

HOTEL, Newbold Terrace. — Overlook- 
ing Jephson Gardens. One minute from 
Pump Room and Baths. Lounge. 
Garage. — Apply for Terms, Mrs. Assin- 
der, Propriet ress. 

PRIVATE HOTEL.— "One of the 

best." Promenade facing Sea. Bright 
open position with charming views from 
all rooms. Tennis free on own Lawn. 
'Phone 274. — W. L. Moran. 


High-class Private Hotel. Stands in its 
own Beautiful Grounds. Replete with 
every Comfort* i'Phone 154 Shanklin. 
— S. J. Clark, Proprietor. 


RESORT.— Beautiful Parks and Gar- 
dens, Tennis, Bowls, Boating. Three 
Golf Links (Sunday Play). Excellent 
Bands. Centre for Shakespeare Coun- 
try. Fine Pump Room and Baths. — 
Send for Free Booklet to W. J. Leist, 
Spa Manager, Dept. W.L. 

NORFOLK BROADS.— All information 
concerning Holidays on the Broads of 
Norfolk and Suffolk can be obtained 
from Jack Robinson Sc Co., Oulton 
Broad, Lowestoft, whose practical ex- 
perience is at the disposal of enquirers 
withou t obligation. E ncl ose stamp. 

MORTEHOE.— Woolacombe Bay, N. 
PRIVATE HOTEL.— Facing Sea. Few 
minutes from Tennis and Golf. Garage 
Near. Separate Tables. Good Cook- 
ing. Nursery Meals for Children (under 
12 years old) with Nurses. Inclusive 
Terms from £3. 3s. 'Phone 4. Tels., 
" Rathleigh." — Resident Proprietors, 
Mr. and Mrs. S. Kelly. 

OXFORD.— THE ISIS. Private and Resi- 
dential Hotel, 47 to 53, Iffley Road. 
Near Colleges and River. Good Public 
Rooms. Motor Garage. Terras Mod. 
'Phone 776. — Miss Baker, Proprietress. 


Magdalen Street. Private and Resi- 
dential Hotel. In the Centre of City. 
Near Colleges, and opposite Martyrs' 
Memorial. Terms Moderate. 'Phone 


porth Hotel. — Open position. Over- 
looking Parks. One minute from 
Beaches. Tennis Courts adjoining. 
Close to New Golf Links. A.A., R.A.C. 
— Mr. and Mrs. C. N. House, Pro- 

pri etors. __^ 

RESORT for all Seasons.— Abundance 
of Bright Sunshine, Clear Days, no 
Fogs or Snow. Light Rainfall and 
Sandy Sub-soil. Excellent Train Ser- 
vice. As a visiting centre Rhyl is unsur- 
passed. Municipal Orchestra and En- 
tertainments in New Pavilion and 
Marine Gardens. Illustrated Guide. 
List of Hotels, Boarding Houses and 
Apartments, Post Free, 2d., from Dept. 
" W.D.," Town Hall, Rhyl. 

Residence. Central position. Every 
modern convenience. An ideal spot for 
a holiday. Rubble and Grass Tennis 
Courts. Billiards, Croquet, Bowls. 
Mod. tariff.— Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Gould. 

ING HOUSE.— Comfortable for Visitors 
and Tourists. Near Station. Baths 
(h. & c). Coach Bookings. — Miss 
Christopherson, Proprietress. 

class Family and Commercial. Close to 
Cathedral and Royal Porcelain Works. 
Garage. 'Phone 338. — Miss Godfrey, 


Hutchings, F.A.I., Leading House and 
Estate Agent. Furnished Houses and 
Apartments secured. Illustrated Guide 
and Property Register on application. 
'Phone 13 8. 

F.A.I., Auctioneers, Valuers, House, 
Land and Estate Agents. Auction 
Mart, Above Bar, Southampton, Estab. 
over 100 y ea rs. 'Ph one 2730^ 


Estate Agents, Auctioneers, . and 
Valuers. Note Address — Corner of 
Station Road, facing Regent Street. 
Monthly Register Gratis and Post Free 
on application. 'Phone 89. 



The most joyous Hobby. 

By Percy V. Bradshaw. 

(Founder and Principal of the 
Press Art School). 

When you consider how 
relatively small are the calls it 
makes upon you, Sketching 
gives a return in sheer joy, in 
interest and in ultimate possi- 
bilities which no other Hobby 
can give. 

The ability to Sketch will make your 
leisure hours doubly enjoyable. Im- 
agine a Sketchbook with jolly Sketches 
in it such as these I have reproduced 1 

1 do not suggest that you could hope to 
do work like this without the correct 
training — the Pupils who drew them 
are now well-known Press Artists. But 
learning to Draw can be as happy for 
you as it was for them wilh exactly the 
same prospects of success as they had 
when they started Sketching. 

You need never have had one lesson 

in Sketching ... 1 don't mind if you 

have never drawn a line. 

You can start straight- 
away, and, with the 
real desire to Draw 
and the same amount 
\ of enthusiasm that you 

would give to your dancing or tennis, you 
will soon be making virile studies and 
sketches which will be a treasure to you 
long after your dancing days are over ! 

Write for my Prospectus and read the experiences 
and opinions of my Pupils. When you see 
what my Postal Tuition has done for //icm, 
you will realise what it may do for you Send 
a p.c. for the Prospectus, it telh you all about 
my Courses for Beginners and Advanced 
Students, and is a convincing record of 21 years* 
successful Art Teaching by Post. 

Address : Percy V. Bradshaw, Principal, 
Tudor Hall, Forest Hill, London, S.E.23 

Don't Wear 
a Truss. 

Brooks' Appliance is a new scientiflc 
discovery with automatic air cushions that 
draws the brolcen parts together and binds 
them as you would a broken limb. It abso- 
lutely holds firmly and comfortably and 
never slips. Always light and cool, and 
conforms to every movement of the body 
without chafing or hurting. We make it 
to your measure, and send it to you on a 
k strict guarantee of satisfaction or money 
refunded, and we have put our price so low that anybody, rich 
or poor, can buy it. Remember, we make it to your order — send 
it to you — you wear it — and if it doecn't satisfy you, you send it 
back to us, and we will refund your money. That is the way we 
do business— always absolutely on the square — and we have sold 
to thousands of people this way for the past ten years. Eemem- 
ber, we use no salves, no hamesa, no lies, no fakes. We just 
give you a straight business deal at a reaaonable price. 

Brooks' Appliance Co., Ltd. ^m^^^^ 

(257A), 80, Chancery Lane, London, W.CZ Bmkia. 


Man, at the present time, has no enemy whose approaches 
are more insidious than those of alcohol. It is probable that 
the chief reason for this lies in the fact that present-day life is 
not only complicated and restless, but also inclined to demand 
as the price of success an undue expenditure of nervous strength ; 
another reason, almost equally important, is that alcohol, an 
immediate antidote to nerve-strain and fatigue, plays a very 
prominent part in the ordinary, social, everyday lives of modern 
people. Nothing is easier than to see the connection between 
these two things, and to understand the result which must in 
many cases occur when the remedy — or rather what seems to 
be a remedy — is always at hand in an enticing form for the 
alleviation of the disease. The tired brain or overworked 
system is alternatively whipped and deadened by alcohol— 
a drug which most men proffer to their friends as natiurally as 
they might their cigarette case, and at which very few men look 
askance — until the consumer comes to regard what was once 
an occasional luxtuy as a necessity, as the only means of 
recovering what he, or she, thinks is a normal feeling of well- 


is a cry that we hear on all sides. And how often is not that 
strain caused or accentuated by alcohol ! It takes very little 
alcohol to affect the nervous system, to produce that false 
normality, or, what is still worse, an intense heightened con- 
sciousness — at first. Afterwards, though the dose must needs 
be stronger, the result is attained just the same ; the strained 
nerves relax, physical fatigue departs, a glow of well-being per- 
vades the system, and the mind works with unaccustomed and 
pleasurable elasticity — for alcohol never fails. But, and this is 


to obtain the same effect the dose has to be continually in- 
creased, and in a very short time the drug, which at first pro- 
cured temporary alleviation to a passing disorder, has not only 
rendered that disorder permanent, but is rapidly creating a host 
of other ills on its own account. 

The Turvey Treatment enables anyone unfortunate enough 
to have succumbed to the temptation to use alcohol after the 
m?inner we have described to give it up, litei-ally at a moment's 
notice ; for it obviates entirely the depression and feeling of 
collapse induced by sudden abstention. In a very short time 
well-being becomes a normal state, and not one at which we 
arrive by means which we know in our heart of hearts to be 
bringing ruin and destruction in their wake, 


The Turvey Treatment, which can be sent to any part of the 
country or abroad, not only suppresses the craving for stimu- 
lants, but actually creates an antipathy to them, and, whilst 
perfectly harmless to either sex, acts as a revivifying tonic, 
building up the wasted tissues and invigorating the whole 
nervous system — thus obviating that fearful sinking feeling of 
collapse which inevitably overcomes the patient's resolution to 
abstain from alcoholic liquors. 

The following inquiry form may be filled in and forwarded 
(or a letter written), on receipt of which full particulars will be 
forwarded post free under plain cover. 

Consultations daily, lo till 5.30. 




14, Hanover Square, London, W.i. 

(Entrance, Harewood Place.) 

Telephone : Mayfair 3406 (2 lines). 

Please forward me by retmn under plain cover Descriptive 
Treatise and advice form. 



NOTICE.— Patients or their friends can be seen daily from 
10 till 5.30. Saturdays, 10 till i. 
Windsor Magazine, February, 1927' 



It fortifies the most delicate skin against the rigours of 

frost and biting winds. 

It gives to the user a fair complexion which qualifies 

for social favour and admiration. 

Once you have put to the test a jar of this delightful 

Toilet Cream, you will cling to it like as to an old friend. 

Clark's Glycola keeps the skin soft and delightfully 

clear, making its texture refined and lovely. 


Of a II Chemists, from 6d. to 3/- per jar, or post free from the makers. 

Sample of Glycola Cream for two id. stamps, from 
CLARK'S GLTCOLA CO.,Ltd.,Dept^80 0ak Grove, Cricklewood, N.W.2 





and are delicious. 
Consumers may take it that sellers who avoid 
the use of the word ** Sardines " in the descrip- 
tion of their goods ^re offering a substitute, of 
which thera are m^ny. France and Portugal 
are practically the Only Two 
Countries from which real Sar- 





Make a Jamaica Pudding 

Easy to 



and highly 


. .u.«r»a..u...u. ~ , .Wpoon(uI baking powder 

•Z lb suet fineJy 4 tablespoonslul golden Milk to moisten 
W chopped. syrup Pinch ol salt 

Mix dry ingredients together, then add " Anchor " Evaporated 
Bananas which have been cut or chopped into small pieces. 
Stir in Golden Syrup which has been warmed until liquid, and 
lastly beat up egg with sufficient milk to moisten, and pour 
in gently, mixing the whole thoroughly. Pour into well- 
greased basin, steam for 3 to 3i ho«irs- Serve with custard 
sauce. Sufficient for 12 persons. 




Delicious as dessert, or in Cakes, Puddings, &. with 
Custard or Cream— nothing so nice. 


'dCollis Browoe' 





Cut short attacks of 




Acts like a charm In 


and other bowel 


Used by DOCTORS and the PUBLIC for over 70 YEARS. 

A true Palliative in NEURALGIA, GOUT, 


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mutated by P. B. Hickling. 

A Staukch Trade Unionist 

The Morning Pant 

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A riiOTOGBAPHic Study by Judges', Limited, Hastings, 

I never meant you to know till my will was read ! But now there's a reason for your knowing ' " 




THE Duchess was standing by the win- 
dow of her boudoir. It was midday, 
and as a pile of letters on her 
writing-table testified, her long morning's 
work was over. One of her post-war eco- 
nomies had taken the form of giving up her 
good, devoted secretary. Perhaps because 
she felt tired, she began to count her mercies. 
Just now, though she trembled to say it even 
to herself, everything was going well with 
those she loved. True, last evening, Chif- 
ney, who managed the Duke's home farm, 
had who was what the Duchess described to 

Copyright, 1927, by Paid Reynolds, 

herself as " a great fusser," had sent up a 
message to say that his Grace's prize bull, 
Apollo, did not seem to be quite himself. 
But that probably only meant that Chifney 
wanted the Duke to come to the f^rm ;tihis 
morning — as of course the Duke had dOne. 
It was a fine autumn day, and beyond the 
walled garden, which lay immediately below 
the window, were two tennis courts where 
the younger members of the small house- 
party now being entertained at the castle 
were playing and watching the games in 

in the United States oj America, 




The Duchess singled out from among the 
girls there her own daughter, and she sighed 
an unconscious, quiet sigh. Just this time 
last year, little Lady Susie had gone through 
a tragic and humiliating experience, though 
one fortunately known only to her own 
mother. She had given her heart to a man 
who had been proved, to put it plainly, — 
and to herself the Duchess always put things 
plainly, — a rascal. The girl had faced the 
blow proudly and silently ; but it had 
changed her from a happy child into a grave- 
eyed young woman, and that though she 
was now only twenty. Only a few days ago 
she had said to her mother, " I am longing 
for Hilda to be eighteen, for then I can be- 
come your dowager daughter, and do just 
what I like ! " The Duchess had answered 
fondly, " Don't you do what you like now, 
my darling ? " 

The girl had shaken her head, and said 
quickly : " What I should like to do would 
be to go right away — over the edge of the 
world ! " 

Yet it was seldom indeed that she thus 
opened, even to her mother, ^ window into 
her sad heart. Most of the people about 
her regarded Lady Susie as happy natured 
and high-spirited. She had received, and 
had refused this last spring, an offer of mar- 
riage from a young man who was not only 
good-looking, agreeable, and apparently very 
much in love, but also what the old-fashioned 
world in which she lived would have de- 
scribed as a very great 2)arii. Sometimes 
the Duchess wondered, with a pang of pain, 
if the girl had made up her mind not to 
marry at all. 

And now, with these disconnected thoughts 
floating through her mind, the Duchess saw 
her daughter suddenly detach herself from 
the group among whom she had been stand- 
ing, and walk away, through j^-n arch which 
led into the walled garden. A moment later a 
tall young man hurried after her. He was 
a soldier, Geoffrey Brentlaw by name, the 
son of very old friends and neighbours. At 
one time the Brentlaws had been great 
landowners. But they were now exceed- 
ingly poor, and lived quietly in a noble old 
house which was falling to pieces for want 
of repair, set in a park which, once a vast 
demesne, was now little more than a big 

The Duchess looked down, with indulgent 
eyes, at the young man. Though he was 
older than any of her own children, he was 
like a brother among them, and she was 
truly fond of him. As a boy he had had a 

bad hunting accident, while riding one of the 
Duke's horses, and as a result some unkind 
folk declared that he was slow at the up- 
take. Then had come the War. Young 
Brentlaw had made a splendid soldier, and 
suddenly, much against his own wish, he 
had become the hero of the neighbour- 
hood, owing to his having won the Victoria 
Cross for an act of signal gallantry. 

But no one ever alluded to that fact now, 
and Geoffrey Brentlaw had just exchanged 
into an Indian regiment, for his father 
could no longer afford to give him even 
the small allowance needed to supplement 
his pay in the light infantry regiment to 
whose annals he had contributed his share 
of deathless glory. 

The door opened, the midday post was 
brought in, and on the top of the Duchess's 
goodly pile of letters lay a black-edged 

A shadow came over her face, for she 
believed it to be the unnecessary answer to 
a letter of condolence written by her some 
ten days ago. She had never liked the 
writer, a foolish, extravagant woman, now 
the newly made widow of a distant cousin, 
to whom the Duchess had been attached, and 
who had been trustee to part of her own 
personal fortune. 

Putting the other letters on her writing- 
table, she took the black-edged sheets out 
of their envelope. What a long epistle ! 
Then, as she read the closely written pages 
through, the expression of her face became 
very ^rave, for they contained bad news. 

There are many rich women to whom the 
tidings contained in those black-edged sheets 
she held in her hand would have appeared 
far more terrible than they did to the Duch- 
ess. Even so, she felt extremely distressed. 
The man of whom she had been truly fond 
and whom she had entirely trusted, had 
died leaving his affairs in confusion. This 
was a letter from his widow revealing that 
he had been false to his trust, and that a 
sum of round about fifty thousand pounds, 
which it had been arranged should provide 
a handsome competence for the Duchess's 
second son, had vanished. 

Now the Duke — ruefully the Duchess 
remembered it now — had never liked her 
jovial, popular Cousin John. At intervals, 
not often, for he was not the sort of man who 
tenders advice often, he had suggested that 
the trustee should be asked to render an 
account of his stewardship. And always she 
Ijad refused, saying that to do so would hurt 



Cousin John's feelings, and that she was sure 
it was all right. But, alas ! it had been all 
wrong. Cousin John, to put it plainly, had 
shown himself a scoundrel and a thief. 

While she was wondering how she would 
find the courage to tell her husband of this 
serious loss, the door opened and the Duke 
came in. She saw at once that something 
had disturbed him violently, and she felt a 
thrill of relief. Cousin John's lawyers had 
evidently written and told him the bad 

" Laura ? " he said, and his tone was very 
kind, *' I see that you've heard what's hap- 
pened ! " 

" Yes," she said tremulously, '" I have, 
James ; and of course I do blame myself 
very, very much." 
" Blame yourself ? " 

He looked at her surprised. And then, in 
quite another tone, " Ah, you mean about 
that Argentine fellow's offer of a thousand 
pounds. But, my dear, I never seriously 
considered it ! I was far too fond, far too 

proud, of the poor beast " 

It was her turn to be surprised. " The 
poor beast ? " she repeated questioningly. 
" Weren't you speaking of Apollo ? " 
And at once she knew what had happened. 
Apollo, their prize bull, a king among 
beasts, was dead. 

" Oh, James ! What a dreadful thing ! I 
am sorry ! " And what with one thing and 
another, the tears welled up into her eyes. 

" Come, come ! " he exclaimed, " I don't 
want you to cry about it, my darling," and 
coming close up to her, he put his arm round 
her shoulder. 

" I've had a bad blow, too, this morning." 
She turned and faced him bravely, " Poor 

Cousin John " 

And then she stopped, for the Duke's 
mouth became grim, and in his eyes there 
leapt the angry light which always frightened 
her, if only because it was so rarely there. 

" I suppose he did away with some of your 
money, Laura ? I suspected something of 
the kind was going on. So it's not a surprise 

to me " 

As she remained silent, he went on, " Well, 
my dear ? Out with it ! John had com- 
plete control of something over fifty thousand 
pounds. Is there any of it left ? " 
She shook her head. 
" D'you mean it's all gone ? " 
" Edie says there's nothing left, only 
debts, and the five hundred a year which was 
settled on her the day they married." 
" May I see her letter ? " he asked. 

" I'd rather you didn't, James." 
" Nonsense ! " 

He took the black-edged sheets out of 
her hand, and read them through. " It's 
just the sort of thing one would expect 
Edie to write ! Thinking, as usual, only of 
herself. Let me see ? That money was 
supposed to be invested, if I remember 
rightly, at five and a half per cent. That 
means a hole in our income of nearly three 
thousand a year. And your extravagant 
son, Algy, will have a very lean old age, 
unless he marries an heiress." 

They looked at one another in dismay. 
" Well ! This has blotted out poor Apollo, 
at any rate," said the Duke at last. 
There came a knock at the door. 
" Come in," cried the Duchess; and then 
her downcast face lit up, for it was only her 
darling Susie, looking very grave. No 
doubt by now she had heard about Apollo. 
" Mother ? " she said irresolutely ; and 
then she looked at the Duke. " Father ? 
I — I have to say something to you." 

The Duke answered, kindly enough, " Yes, 
my dear, what is it you want ? " 

He was telling himself that, after all, 
dreadful as it was to lose in these hard times 
three thousand a yeat, Providence had been 
very good in giving him such a wife as his 
Laura, and good, healthy, loving children 
who included the pretty, clever, high-spirited 
girl now looking at him with such an eager, 
confiding look in the dark eyes which were 
so like his own. 

" I want to tell you " — she gave a queer 
little gasp — " that Geoffrey Brentlaw came 
over this morning for tennis. He asked me 
to marry him, and I said I would." 

" What ? " shouted the Duke. " I never 
heard of such impudence ! That penniless 
boy, who left half his brains on a fence ten 
years ago, has dared to ask you to marry 
him ? It's out of the question — absolutely 
out of the question from every point of 
view ! " 

" I don't see why, father." 
" I'll tell you why ! Apart from everything 
else, he has nothing to keep a wife on — any 
sort of wife, let alone a daughter of mine. 
And, incidentally, we're ruined ! If you 
don't believe me, ask your mother. Her 
Cousin John — your Cousin John, not any 
relation of mine, thank Heaven ! — diddled 
away on his own extravagant living the fifty 
thousand pounds he held in trust, with 
remainder to your brother Algy." 

Now to Lady Susie fifty thousand pounds 
was very much the same as a million of 



money would have been, and she became 
very pale. 

" Is that really true, mother ? " she asked 
in a low voice. 

" It's true that we've lost fifty thou- 
sand pounds," said the Duchess mildly. 
" But it's not true that we are quite 

" You'll soon see whether we 
are or not, 
interjected the 
Duke grimly. 
" Of course we 
shall have to 
leave the 
castle . In 
fact, if I were 
a wise man I 
should ask 
Robin to 

break the entail, so that we could sell it to 
some American millionaire." 

Then, as he caught a glimpse of his wife's 
horrified face, he added more quietly, 
" However, perhaps things 
won't look so black when 
we've gone into it all." 

He waited a moment, then 
he said in a tons he strove 
to make kind, " You must 
make Geoffrey Brentlaw un- 
derstand, Susie, that 
marriage with you is 
out of the question. 
I oughtn't to have 
spoken of him as I 
did just now, for I 
know, of course, that 
he's a gallant young 
chap, a credit to his 
country, and all that 
; sort of thing. But 
you know as well as 
I do , my 
dear, that he 
is not in a 
position t o 
marry any 
girl — you 
least of all. 
Why, his 
father's been 
put to it to 
give him a 
hundred a 
year ! And 
didn't I 
hear some- 

' The Duchess took a step forward, and put her arms round her daughter. ' Darling/ she whispei-cd ia 
a strangled voice, *! don't believe you really love Geoffrey '" 



thing as to his exchanging into an Indian 
regiment ? " 

i" Yes, father, he has done so, and " 

" And what ? " asked the Duke angrily. 

" — I want to be married at once, so that 
I can go out to India with him." 

The two looked at one another each with 
the same set, determined, and what the 
onlooker, to herself, called obstinate, mouth. 

The Duchess took a step forward, and put 
her arms round her daughter. " Darling," 
she whispered in a strangled voice, " I don't 
believe you really love Geoffrey " 

" I do — I do — I do ! " the girl exclaimed 

Then she went on, a little wildly: 
" There are such different kinds of love, 
mother. I should have thought that ijou 
would know that. I have come to love 
Geoffrey because 
he's so good, and 
-so dependable " 
cheeks now— 
also because 
he does love 
me so very 
much ! He's 
always loved 
me, and I've 
always known 

father never noticed it. But Mrs. Parsleet 
did ! " 

And then she wrenched herself from her 
mother's arms, and turning, ran out of the 
room, slamming the door behind her. 

" Now you see the result of your system 
of bringing up your children," said the 
Duke angrily. " You're 

—the tears 
running down 

it, of 

'•I do— I do— I do !' the girl exclaimed chokingly. Then she went on, a Utile wildly; 
' There are such different kinds of love, mother.' " 



always boasting of how superior they are 
to other people's children, how much more 
loving and obedient to us, their fortunate 
parents. You see a sample of Susie's 
obedience now." 

As the Duchess said nothing, he went on 
savagely, " What did the silly child mean by 
saying there are different ways of loving ? 
Why, she doesn't know the meaning of the 
word, love, " 

" One never knows what one's children 
know nowadays," said the Duchess feebly. 

" You mayn't know, but I know ! Only 
in July Susie told me she meant to remain 
single, like your Aunt Lolly. That was 
when she had refused that nice chap, Latter- 
dale, after whom all the girls, and the mam- 
mies too, were in full cry." 

" She didn't like him," said the Duchess 
quickly. " And apparently she does like 
poor Geoffrey." 

" Stuff and nonsense ! But Laura ? " 

" Yes ? " 

'' Did you notice ^hat she said about 
Parsleet ? I'm afraid ^the old woman has 
had a hand in this." 

" I'm sure she hasn't ! I'm sure she'll be 

" That's all very well. But she evidently 
saw the way the wind was blowing, and she 
ought to have told you." 

" I expect she saw only what I ought to 
liave seen — that Geoffrey was in love with 
Susie. The dear old thing certainly knew 
I was in love with you long before I knew it 
myself ! In fact, I'm not sure that Parsy 
didn't put the idea into my head. But then, 
you know 1 " 

The Duchess stood on tiptoe and whis- 
pered low into her husband's ear, " You 
were already my Lord Duke. Parsleet 
didn't forget that I " 


Mrs. Parsleet, once the Duchess's nurse, 
was now the highly respected and,[in a sense, 
the greatly feared, housekeeper of the 

But Mrs. Parsleet was very much mor^ 
than that, not only in her own estimation, 
but in the estimation of every man, woman, 
and child there, from the Duke to the pantry- 
boy. She had been not only the Duchess's 
nurse, but her foster-mother as well. Indeed, 
her connection with her Grace's family, as 
she sometimes told herself with satisfaction, 
had begun before the Duchess was born, for 
Mrs. Parsleet, as plain Miss Parsleet, though 
even then a middle-aged woman, had been 

chosen as maid to the great heiress who had 
been the Duchess's mother. 

In those days, at any rate, considerable 
trouble was taken to provide a bride dowered 
with a sufficiency of this world's goods with 
a responsible " own woman " who, it was 
hoped, would accompany her in her voyage 
through life, beginning with her honeymoon. 

The choice, in this case, had been a 
singularly happy one. The maid had proved 
worthy of the trust reposed in her, and 
when, after two years of faithful service, 
she had stood by her dear lady's dying-bed, 
it was to her that the young mother had, 
in her extremity, turned. 

" Parsleet," she had whispered, with a 
look of agonised urgency on her pallid 
face, *' you will never leave my little baby, 
will you ? I don't feel I can trust her with 
anyone but you." And the other had replied 
quietly, almost dryly, " You can rely on me, 
ma'am. I'll stay with the precious lamb as 
long as her papa will let me." 

That promise had been given a good many 
more years ago than the Duchess now cared 
to remember, and though the nurse, to her 
regret, for she held Victorian views as to the 
[upbringing of children, and especially of 
yoilng ladies, had never been able to break 
her darling nursling's spirit, it was touching 
hoV their deep love for one another had 

It was to Parsy, as she had always called 
her, and as she still called her, though never, 
now, in the presence of anyone else, not even 
in that of her children, that the Duchess had 
always gone with her troubles, her anxieties, 
and. what perhaps is the greatest test of 
lovp, her intimate joys. 

Here in the castle, Mrs. Parsleet — for she 
Jiad chosen to assume brevet rank when her 
young lady had done so — reigned as absolute 
sovereign over the great household. And as 
time went on, her power grew rather than 

Though she was very, very old — no one 
knew her age even approximately, and it 
was the one question the Duchess had never 
dared, at any time of her life, to ask her — 
till last year Mrs. Parsleet had always 
insisted on taking certain tourist parties 
round not only the castle, on the two days 
when the state-rooms were shown, but also 
the keep. Among those who did not love 
the housekeeper some would whisper that she 
was uncommonly fond of money, and that 
though it was well known by those whom 
such matters interested, that Mrs. Parsleet 
must be a very warm woman indeed ! For 



one thing, not only her Grace's mother, but 
many years later, her Grace's father, had left 
this faithful friend a tidy bit of money. 
That being so, it seemed strange to these 
same f<3lk that the old lady went on occupy- 
ing a position which more than one younger 
woman, known to all and sundry, could have 
filled 'quite as adequately, and far more 

But Mrs. Parsleet never even thought of 
retiring ! According to her lights she would 
have committed a grave dereliction of duty 
Mn doing so. Why, how could life be 
carried on in the castle, either below or 
above stairs, without herself being there 
to make sure that no wicked advantage 
was being taken of their over-confiding 
Graces ? 

Not hat she was one to bustle about 
making herself cheap. She ruled by her 
vigorous power of speech, and her remark- 
able gift of inspiring awe, aye, and even fear. 
Even Mr. Rowley, that greatest of gentle- 
man's gentlemen, the Duke's own man, 
had once in a moment of expansion admitted 
to the very attractive upper housemaid 
(whom he afterwards married) that in Mrs. 
Parsleet's presence he had known himself to 
shiver and shake. As for the under-ser- 
vants, they regarded her with inexpressible 
terror, and averred, sometimes with tears, 
that she must surely have eyes at the back 
of her head. 

Mrs. Parsleet was mistress of two apart- 
ments : the one, known as the House- 
keeper's Eoom, was large and gloomy, hand- 
some in its appointments, but not comfort- 
able or really liveable. Different indeed was 
that known as Mrs. Parsleet's Room. 

When you stepped through the heavy 
mahogany door of Mrs. Parsleet's Room you 
walked not forward, as you doubtless 
imagined yourself to be doing, but back- 
ward, right into the middle of the nineteenth 
century. Bright mahogany and highly 
polished rosewood vied there in friendly 
rivalry. The wallpaper was bright, blue 
starred with gold fieurs-de-lis, and Mrs. 
Parsleet had felt extremely gratified when 
one of the maids in attendance on a royal 
visitor had informed her that that very 
same wallpaper had lined the corridors of 
Windsor Castle in Queen Victoria's day ! 
Mrs. Parsleet's ideal of womanhood had 
always been Queen Victoria. This was in a 
sense strange, as the Duchess, who was the 
bright sun round whom everything in Mrs. 
Parsleet's high little world revolved, was 
very unlike Queen Victoria in everything, 

save that both those great ladies had had a 
large family of children. 

Mrs. Parsleet had an indulgent affection 
for her young lords and her young ladies, as 
she called them, but not one of them had 
ever challenged the place of their mother 
in her heart. Also, much as she admired and 
approved of the Duke, his only place in her 
universe was that of the fortunate nobleman 
who's privilege it had been to make her 
cherished darling a Duchess. 

" Come in," quavered the voice which 
had now been for, well, not so very far off 
half a century, the one voice which had 
made even the Duchess tremble, and the 
only voice to whose admonitions she would, 
even now, lend a really attentive ear. . . . 

As the door opened, Mrs. Parsleet rose, 
not very easily, from her high chair. And 
then, when she saw who it was, she made a 
little curtsy — the sort of curtsy she had 
seen the Duchess once make to the Queen. 

" Parsy, darling ! " 

The Duchess ran forward and folded the 
old woman in her arms. ' Then she felt a 
little pang of fear and pain, for, in spite of 
her still fine appearance, Mrs. Parsleet was 
certainly growing smaller. It was as if she 
was shrinking, rather than fading, away. 

" Sit down," said the visitor, and very 
gently she put her old nurse back into the 
high arm-chair. 

Then she drew forward a stool covered 
with Berlin-wool work, and sat down in 
front of her. " How smart you look ! " she 
said fondly. 

And indeed Mrs. Parsleet did look very 
smart, in her full black silk dress, black satin 
apron, and real lace cap. Round her neck 
and hanging on her bosom was a jet chain to 
which was attached a large oval jet pendant. 
On one side of the pendant were the initials, 
in pearls, of the owner's long-dead lady, the 
Duchess's mother, and on the other side of it 
was a miniature of a fat, not over-attractive- 
looking baby : the Duchess, at eighteen 
months, painted by a then fashionable 
miniature painter, as a commission from the 
infant sitter's papa. 

Sometimes, when no one was looking, 
Mrs. Parsleet would just move the locket 
along, two or three inches to the left, so 
that it might rest just above where she 
supposed her stout old heart to be placed 
in her now fragile body. 

" Sad news about poor Hapollo," said 
Mrs. Parsleet gravely. Though she had 
never been known to drop an h, she did 




occasionally add an h where none should be. 
** I fear his Grace is very much upset about 

" He is indeed," said the Duchess sadly ; 
** he is terribly upset, Parsy, but " 

Before she could finish her sentence the 
old woman went on, " Luckily poor Hapollo 
left some very coming-on little ones ; that 
should comfort his Grace." 

" How clever of you to think of that ! " 
exclaimed the Duchess. " But I doubt if 
among Apollo's sons and daughters there's 
any beast who'll take his place in the Duke's 

Mrs. Par sleet put out her thin, blue- veined 
hand, and laid it on the Duchess's shoulder. 
'' Anything upsetting you, my dearie — 
apart, I mean, from poor Hapollo ? " 

** Yes," said the Duchess in a low voice, 
" I've been very much upset this morning, 
and I couldn't help remembering, Parsy 
dear, what you used to say when I was a 
child — that bad luck always comes in threes ! 
Apart from Apollo, I've heard two other 
very bad pieces of news this morning." 

" I'm sorry to hear that," said Mrs. Par- 
sleet feelingly. 

Yet her old heart felt full of joy, for she 
knew that the Duchess had come to her to 
be, in a manner of speaking, cheered up. 

" You remember Cousin John, Parsy ? " 

" Yes, I do mind him very well. He's 
dead, poor gentleman. I read a bit about 
him in my paper. Very well liked and 
popular they said he was," answered Mrs. 
Parsleet, in a rather peculiar voice. 

" He was left sole trustee to part of my 
marriage settlement, after Mr. Willington 

'' Aye, I mind that." 

" Well, somehow or other — you know he 
wasn't a man of business, and I suppose he 
always lived beyond his means " 

" A very extravagant gentleman," said 
Mrs. Parsleet dryly. 

" — he muddled away about fifty thou- 
sand pounds of my money." 

*' There now ! He never did ? " 

Mrs. Parsleet looked horror-struck, as 
well she might. 

She reminded herself with satisfaction that 
never had she liked Cousin John. She had 
always thought him something of an artful 
dodger, for all his pleasant, hearty ways. 

The Duchess went on, speaking a little 
breathlessly : " But it's no good crying over 
spilt milk, as I told his Grace just now. 
But, of course, the loss of fifty thousand 
pounds is a very serious thing " 

" And what may the third bad thing 
be ? " asked Mrs. Parsleet anxiously. 

" The third thing," said the Duchess 
slowly, "is to me, by far the worst, Parsy. 
Lady Susie went and told Captain Geoffrey 
Brentlaw this morning that she will marry 
him ! " 

And then Mrs. Parsleet showed that she 
was indeed getting very old, for instead 
of appearing shocked, she murmured, " I 
always knew the Captain haspired to her 
little ladyship. And more than once I says 
to myself lately, when I noticed out of my ' 
window how friendly they seemed together, 
' None but the brave deserve the fair.' " 

" That's all very well," said the Duchess 
crossly, for she felt just a little irritated. 
" But not even the brave, let alone the fair, 
can live long on bread and cheese and kisses. 
Now, Parsy, do be honest ! " 

"I do be honest, your Grace. And of 
course I needn't say that the Captain's not 
the exact young gentleman I would have 
chosen. But then I wouldn't have picked 
out Mr. Harmitage, and you let Lady Lettice 
have him ! " 

This was an allusion to the Duchess's 
existent son-in-law. Once Gerald Armitage 
had so far forgotten himself as to try and 
patronise Mrs. Parsleet ; and ever since 
then, though she knew how wicked it is to 
hate, she had really hated him. 

" And that isn't all," went on the Duchess. 
" Geoffrey is going to India almost at once 
— and the child wants to go with him ! " 
" To India ? Ho dear ! Ho dear ! " 
'' And the poor fellow has exchanged into 
an Indian regiment which is stationed, I 
believe, in a very hot, unhealthy part of 
India. His mother was bemoaning the fact 
to me the other day. You can't wonder at 
his Grace being horrified at the thought of 
our daughter facing such a life." 

" I hope she's not much set on it," said 
the old woman anxiously. 

" She does seem very much set upon it, 
unfortunately. And, after all, it's rather 
absurd — as she's known Geoffrey Brentlaw 
all her life ! " 

" Maybe she's not forgotten the day he 
came home as a conquering hero ? " observed 
Mrs. Parsleet. *' We was all very proud of 
him then.'' 

Sad, troubled, uncomfortable days fol- 
lowed at the Castle. Indeed, only those 
who have gone through the experience of 
staying in a country house where an engage- 
ment is in process of being broken, either 



gently, or by violence, realise how pain- 
ful and depressing such a situation can 
be, not only for the two unhappy people 
most concerned, but also for everyone 
about them. 

Again and again, during those long days, 
when looking into her daughter's pale, un- 
happy face, the Duchess felt a feeling of 
doubt and misgiving. But the Duke seldom 
asserted his authority, and when he did 
assert it, his wife always supported him. 
But she felt the more wretched because the 
primary cause of all the trouble, as she 
bitterly reminded herself, had been her 
Cousin John's callous dishonesty. In the 
Duke's, if not in the Duchess's imagination, 
that vanished fifty thousand pounds had 
grown and grown until it had become a 
mountain of money, the loss of which must 
mean the condemnation to poverty of all 
their younger children. In vain did Lady 
Susie declare tearfully that she and Geof- 
frey would be able to manage very well on 
his pay joined to the good allowance her 
parents made her for her clothes, and for 
what her father called her fal-lals. But in 
answer to this assertion the Duke reminded 
her, not unkindly, that she had never man- 
aged to keep within that allowance, and 
that in spite of the presents her mother was 
always giving her. 

At last, after innumerable discussions 
and interviews with Geoffrey Brentlaw, his 
apologetic father, and his tearful mother, 
the Duke so far gave way as to say that if, 
at the time of the young soldier's first leave 
home, he was still of the same mind, and 
found Lady Susie also of the same mind, they 
might begin to consider a formal engage- 

" If in two or three years," said the Duke 
to his daughter, " you and Geoffrey still wish 
to be married, your mother and I will see 
what we can do. Even then we shall not be 
able to do much, but no doubt we shall have 
been able to retrench here and there, and 
we shall know better where we stand." 

In answer to her submissive *' Thank you, 
father," he went on ruthlessly : " I should 
be a hypocrite, my dear, if I said that I 
hoped that in the end you would marry 
Geoffrey Brentlaw. In you, Susie, pity 
has been akin to love. Once you see 
someone you can really care for — as a 
woman ought to care for the man she marries 
— once you're what people call ' in love,' 
you'll thank me, my child, for having saved 
you from this marriage." 

And yet, though the Duke was adamant 

outwardly, even he felt a touch of doubt as 
to whether he was doing right or wrong. 
The more he saw of Geoffrey Brentlaw the 
better he thought of him, and the less he 
believed the spiteful old tale that as a boy 
he had left half his brains on a fence ! He 
even secretly told himself that if his little 
Susie went on feeling as apparently she did 
feel, now, he would try and see, long before 
young Brentlaw's leave home was due, 
whether anything could be done. 


" Mrs. Parsleet would be grateful if your 
Grace could arrange to see her for a few 
moments to-day. If your Grace will indi- 
cate what time would be convenient, Mrs. 
Parsleet will wait upon your Grace." 

The Duchess looked up into the butler's 
impassive face. She felt just a little sur- 
prised, for Mrs. Parsleet had made it a rule, 
from the day she had become housekeeper 
at the castle, never to ask to see her mistress. 
This wise rule she had broken only twice, 
and each time there had been a grave and 
sufficient reason. That the Duchess should 
intimate her desire for her housekeeper's 
presence was only right and proper, but 
Mrs. Parsleet hoped she knew her place too 
well to force herself on her Grace. 

" Please tell Mrs. Parsleet that I do not 
wish her to disturb herself, and that I will 
come to her sitting-room at three o'clock." 

Mrs. Parsleet received the Duchess stand- 
ing ; she always did this when she knew 
that she was to be honoured by a visit from 
her illustrious nursling. 

After the welcome visitor had entered the 
room, the old woman went slowly across to 
the door and locked it, and, as she walked 
back, the Duchess noticed how old and 
shrunken she looked. 

" Parsy ? " she said solicitously. " What's 
the matter, darling ? Don't you feel well ? " 
She was filled with vague apprehension. 
Perhaps for the first time in her full life she 
apprehended what a terrible loss out of that 
full life her old nurse would be, and how 
much of a happy past would vanish with 
Parsy. . . . 

" Nothing's the matter with me that I 
know of, dearie. But I'm a bit nervous, for 
I've got to ask you to let me do something, 
and I'm so afeard that you'll be frazzled, and 
maybe say *no ' ! " 

When Mrs. Parsleet was really agitated 
she sometimes uttered a word which be- 



longed to the dim days of her early- Victorian 
childhood . 

"I could never say *no' to you, Parsy. 
And I don't think you ought even to suspect 
me of being able to do such a thing ! " 

She tried to make Mrs. Parsleet sit down 
in her high arm-chair, but the old woman 
resisted the loving effort. Instead she put 
her long thin arms round the Duchess. 

" I've been thinking/' she said, in a 
muffled tone, " a great deal of our little Lady 
Susie, and of that fine young gentleman of 

*' So have I, Parsy. But what can I do ? 
I told you yesterday what had been settled. 
The Duke feels sure that it won't do either 
of them any harm to wait a while if, that is, 
they truly care for one another." 

" I don't believe much in waiting — not 
when one's young," said Mrs. Parsleet. 
" When a body's old 'tis easy-like to stand 
up to disappointment." 

As the Duchess made no answer to this, 
she went on, in a voice that shook a little : 
" Something once happened to me, dearie. 
Something I never told anyone. But I've 
not forgotten it, though " — she began to 
count in her own mind — " 'tain't far from 
sixty years ago it happened. His name was 
Charlie, and it was all the fault of his mother, 
who said she didnH see why we couldnH wait. 
So we did wait, and he got to like another 
young person. I never got over it — no, that 
I never did ! " There came a strange tone 
of passion and pain in the old voice. " And 
since then I've always been chary of parting 
two loving hearts." 

The Duchess felt very much moved. 
She knew now what had always been rather 
a puzzle to her — why Mrs. Parsleet, in that 
one matter of lovers, had always appeared 
so curiously soft. When it came to a ques- 
tion of matrimony the housekeeper would 
always do anything in her power to hasten 
the wedding. 

" I agree with you, Parsy. Yet I don't 
see what I can do," she murmured distress- 
fully. *' The Duke does not feel that we 
are in a position to give our daughter a suffi- 
cient allowance to make her as comfortable 
as we both feel she ought to be. The loss of 
that really huge sum of money has quite up- 
set his Grace.'' 

" It were enough to quite upset a lesser 
nobleman," said Mrs. Parsleet solemnly. 

" Times have changed," went on the 
Duchess in a low voice. '* Our sons will 
have to make their way in the world, and 
to start them will cost money." 

'' Aye, I know that," said the old woman 
eagerly, " and your Grace saying so makes 
it easy for me, so it do, to tell you what I 
wants to say. I don't suppose " — she smiled 
a thin wintry smile — " that you've ever given 
much thought to my money ? " 

" Your money, Parsy ? " 

The Duchess was genuinely astonished. 
Somehow she had always thought of her 
dear old nurse as having no money, save 
of course her handsome wages. Then she 
remembered, as one remembers a thing that 
has made a certain impression on the mind 
at the time, though it has been forgotten 
since, that her father had left Parsleet a 
legacy of two thousand pounds. SBe also 
recalled, now, how at the time when some 
family friend had spoken of this legacy as of 
an amazing proof of generosity, she had told 
herself what a poor recompense was two 
thousand pounds, if measured by the 
immense wealth left to herself, for all that 
her old nurse had given so freely and so 
gladly in the kind of care and devotion that 
no treasure, however great, can buy. 

So now she said hesitatingly, " I know that 
papa left you a little money, Parsy."' 

" He left me," said Mrs. Parsleet quietly, 
" just the same as had done your mamma, 
dearie. And very, very good it was of the 
dear gentleman ! And then I had one or 
two lucky hits in what they call hinvestis- 
ments, but though maybe you'll hardly be- 
lieve it, I made just about as much again in 
the long years I was showing the castle ! " 

She lowered her voice. " Very generous 
some folk were before the war ! One Ameri- 
can gentleman went so far as to give me a 
five-pun note just because I'd gone out of my 
way to tell him something of the history of 
the family when showing him our portraits ! 
And as for the Countess of Bellborough — I 
mean, your Grace, the Dowager Countess, 
she always sent me a sovereign whenever 
I showed any of the grand folk who came 
over from her ladyship's house round the 

*' That was certainly very generous," said 
the Duchess with a touch of discomfort. 
All this was something of a revelation to 

Did these confidences portend that Parsy 
wished to leave them — ^to end her life, may 
be, in some little home of her own ? 

Human nature is an incalculable thing. 
The Duchess was too intelligent a woman 
not to know that. Yet the thought that 
Parsy should think of leaving her, even if 
onlyto live close^by in the town, filled her- 



with an extraordinary sense of pain, of 
loneliness, and of loss. 

*' I wonder if your Grace can guess how 
much money I have ? " Mrs. Parsleet was 
smiling mysteriously. 

" I have no idea how much money you 
have, Parsy. How could I guess ? This is 
the first time you and I have ever talked of 

" I know that, dearie. And I never meant 
you to know till my will was read. But now 
there's a reason for your knowing " 

Mrs. Parsleet took a little slip of paper 
out of her black satin apron pocket, and 
held it close up to her dim eyes, though 
she knew the figures hat were written 
there by heart. 

" It's nine thousand three hundred and 
forty-nine pounds fifteen shillings," she 
exclaimed, in a triumphant tone. " And I 
want you and his Grace to let me just give 
it now, as a wedding present to Lady Susie. 
I know it isn't a fortune to such as her, and 
even to such as her young gentleman. But 
still it's a tidy bit of money even for them, 
your Grace ; and it'll make it easy for them 
to be married now, and for them to get along 
comfortable till his Grace feels he can come 
down handsome again." 

The Duchess pushed the old woman into 
her high chair, and then she sank down and 
put her head on her nurse's lap. 

She hadn't done that for years — not since 
she had been in an extremity of grief over 
the loss of one of her little boys. 

Mrs. Parsleet put her hand on her darling's 

" In a little while — though not, please 
God, just yet — this money of mine would 
have been your money, dearie. There's 
no one left in the world belonging to me. so 
of course I've left it all to you — who else is 
there I could leave it to ? So it's you I'm 
robbing, really, by this plan of mine." 

The Duchess raised her head. " It would 
be an impertinence for me to thank you, 
Parsy. I'll tell the Duke of your generous 
thought, and I'll tell him that in my opinion 
we ought to do whatever you want us to do. 
But, Parsy ? I can't answer for him ! " 

" Pray tell his Grace that no one will ever 
know," said Mrs. Parsleet. " Also, that it 
isn't thanks I'm after. All I wants is for 
them two young folk to be happy together." 

After the Duchess had left her, Mrs. Par- 
sleet felt suddenly not only very tired, but 
full of unease and apprehension. Her inter- 
view with her beloved lady had gone oil 

better than she had expected, but she now 
felt very much afraid of the Duke ! 

Yet the Duke had always been peculiarly 
kind and courteous to the Duchess's old 
nurse, and that from the very early days 
of his married life when, truth to tell, he 
had sometimes been very jealous of Parsy, 
and of Parsy's influence over his wife. 

The shades of evening began to gather 
over the room. But Mrs. Parsleet, sitting 
upright in her high arm-chair, did not ring 
the bell for someone to come to turn on the 
lights for her. 

Perhaps, without knowing it, she dozed 
awhile, for it was almost dark when the 
door opened, and the only voice she loved 
said gently, " May we come in, Parsy ? " 

" Why, certainly, your Grace." 

And then, as Mrs. Parsleet stood up, she 
saw that by the Duchess's side loomed up 
the tall figure of the Duke. 

Now his Grace came into Mrs. Parsleet's 
Room only once a year, on Christmas Day, 
to bring her in person his Christmas gift, 
and his goodwishes. 

But now there he stood, silent and im- 
passive, as was his wont, and the old 
woman's heart sank within her. 

" My wife has told me, Mrs. Parsleet, of 
your most generous thought — of the splendid 
gift you wish to bestow on our child. And I 
have come to thank you myself." 

He uttered the words with a certain diffi- 
culty, for he was shy, as well as very proud. 

" I trust her Grace has told your Grace 
that that money really belongs to her 
Grace ? " said Mrs. Parsleet in a trembling 

" To her Grace ? " said the Duke in a 
surprised voice. " What do you mean, Mrs. 
Parsleet ? " 

" I mean," she said in firmer tones, " that 
first it was her mamma, then it was her 
papa, left me what accounts for more than 
half my money. As for the rest, well, by 
rights " 

He cut her short a little sternly. " I think 
I see what you mean. But, Mrs. Parsleet ? 
I feel glad to be able to tell you that we shall 
not have occasion to profit by your most 
generous thought. I've been going into my 
private affairs this very day, and I find that 
I shall be able to give Lady Susie an allow- 
ance quite sufficiently adequate for a poor 
man's wife — that, of course, she will be, and 
to the end of her life if she now marries 
Captain Brentlaw." 

"I see," said Mrs. Parsleet ; and then 
again she said falteringly, " I see."' 



She could not speak : she was so very 
disappointed ; and yet, so she told herself 
pitifully, how could she have expected any- 
thing else from so proud and high a gentle- 
man as was my Lord Duke ? She felt that 
she had indeed been a foolish old woman. 

'* Oh, James, we've hurt her ! She's 
horribly disappointed," murmured the Duch- 
ess, and she melted into tears. 

The Duke took an eager step forward. 
" I know just how you feel!" he exclaimed; 
and his voice now sounded extraordinarily 
soft and kind, quite different from what it 
had appeared to be, a few moments ago. 

He took Mrs. Parsleet's hand. *' I'm afraid 
you must think me ungrateful — but indeed, 
indeed I'm not ! " 

He turned to his wife. ** You tell her, 
Laura, what you told me would be your 
idea in, I trust, a very distant future." 

" Shall I ? I will ! " 

The JDuchess ran up to her old nurse. 

*' I told the Duke," she said breathlessly, 
" what you'd told me — I mean that you 
have left me all your money, darling Parsy ! 
And I said to him that if you didn't change 
your mind — then on the day, a very, very 
distant day, please God, when I get your 
fortune, I shall hand it over to Susie, and 
tell her that it is from you to help her to 
an easier life. For, of course, poor Geoffrey 
Brentlaw will never have any money. So, 
you see, they will benefit — our lovers — 
after all, by your great kindness." 

" I am very pleased to hear you say that, 
your Grace," murmured Mrs. Parsleet. 

'' You can go now," exclaimed the Duch- 
ess, giving the Duke a little push. " I'm 
staying with Parsy for a little while." 

And after they had heard the firm step 
echoing down the stone passage, the Duchess 
whispered, " It's all owing to you, Parsy, 
that his Grace has given in ! Your splendid 
generosity shook him into behaving as a 
father should ! I'm going to tell Susie now, 
at once, that she owes it all to you." 

" There's no call for your Grace to do 
that," murmured Mrs. Parsleet. 

" Of course I am ! And now I must go 
off and see the child. It's a wonderful 
thing to be able to change sadness into 
gladness, defeat into victory ; that's what 
I'm going to do with that little girl of 
mine — and all thanks to you, Parsy ! " 

She ran across to the door, and she turned 
on the electric light. Then she came back, 
and bending down, she kissed Mrs. Parsleet. 
" You must have a rest now," she said 
tenderly. " Even I feel quite tired ! " 

The old woman caught hold of her hand. 
" Good night, good night, my Blessing." 

It was years and years since Mrs. Parsleet 
had called the Duchess that. 

Late that same evening, after the engage- 
ment had been announced, the happy 
couple's health drunk above and below 
stairs, and the ladies had gone into the 
drawing-room, the Duchess went upstairs. 
She wanted to find a miniature of her mother, 
to show her prospective son-in-law, for it 
was thought to be very like Susie. 

As, alone, she hurried towards her bed- 
. room, her mind turned to her old nurse. 

It hurt her, somehow, to know, as know 
she did, that a woman of so fine and gener- 
ous a nature should inspire such fear in 
those under her rule and care. She won- 
dered, deep in her heart, whether they were 
as overawed as was always said to be the 
case, and whether Mrs. Parsleet, at any 
rate, as she grew older, did not really rule 
by love rather than by fear ? 

With this in her mind she went into her 
bedroom, to find, to her surprise, the room 
lit up. Then, suddenly, she became aware 
that in front of her dressing-table stood a 
little under-housemaid, and that round the 
girl's neck hung a splendid necklace of 
emeralds and diamonds which she, the 
Duchess, had intended to wear to-night and 
had discarded at the last moment. 

Hearing the sound of footsteps the 
naughty girl turned round, and a look of 
awful terror came into her eyes, so awful, 
indeed, that the kind Duchess felt mollified. 

" Jenny ? — it is Jenny Fearon. isn't it ? — ■ 
don't look so frightened, my dear ! Of 
course you did wrong, for no one ought to 
touch anything that doesn't belong to her. 
But I suppose you were tempted, and longed 
to see how you would look in my necklace 1 
Did you come in here to make up the fire ? " 

The girl opened her lips, but she could 
not speak. She stood still, transfixed with 
fear, her mouth open, her eyes, as the 
Duchess put it to herself, popping out of 
her head. 

" Take off the necklace, and put it down, 
child ! " 

With fumbling fingers the girl at last 
undid the old-fashioned clasp, and the neck- 
lace fell to the floor. But all unheeding 
of that the child— -she was only fifteen — 
joined her hands together, and cried in a 
shrill tone of supplication and anguish, 
" Oh, please, please, please, your Grace-^ 
don't tell Mrs. Parsleet 1 " 




Photogra'phs hy Central News, 

THE real home of Eugby Football is in 
the hearts of the many thousands 
who have played and learned to 
love the game, for whom it is the ideal 
combination of healthy exercise with manly 
sport. From a more prosaic point of view 
the home of Rugby in each country is at 
the headquarters where the international 
matches are played. Although these differ 
in the length and interest of their historical 
associations, yet all, even the newest of 
them, have become imbued with their own 
peculiar atmosphere almost from the day of 
their inauguration. 

It seems strange to speak of atmosphere 
and sentiment in connection with so matter- 
of-fact a sport as Rugby football, but these 
intangible qualities have a definite existence 
and influence, sometimes reflecting a purely 

local, at other times a national, spirit, which 
is keenly appreciated by all who have fallen 
beneath their sway. So strong is this 
feeling that one may call it a definite aura 
in the case of certain grounds, which militates 
as clearly in favour of the home team as 
it depresses and subdues their opponents. 
Many instances of this might be quoted, but 
it is perhaps most apparent in Wales and 
Ireland, where Celtic mysticism and fervour 
still play a big part in that curious psycho- 
logical phenomenon, " mob law," by which 
the emotions of a great crowd are controlled. 
Apart from the " atmosphere " begotten 
by the temperament of the spectators, 
there is something in the aspect and sur- 
roundings of each great football ground 
which gives it a definite identity of its own. 
The trim, well-appointed headquarters of 




the game in England at 'Twickenham, with 
its beautiful turf, ample stands, lavish 
provision for the comfort of spectators, 
combined with its wretched, bottle-necked 
approach, is perhaps as typical of England 
and English methods as anything could be. 
The spaciousness and severe simplicity of 
Murrayfield are equally characteristic of 
Scotland. There is a homeliness and un- 
conventionality about Lansdowne Eoad 
quite suitable to the warm-hearted, enthu- 
siastic folk who frequent it, while the 
grimness of the Cardiff Arms Park and the 
white cliffs of houses 
which face the Swan- 
sea ground are also ^ ., 
not inappropriate. / , 

The Rugby Union 
ground at Twicken- 
ham was purchased in 
1907, some eight years 
after the opening of 
the Scottish head- 
quarters at Inverleith. 
Up to this time the 
international matches 
in London had been 
played at Blackheath 
and Richmond, on the 
grounds of those fam- 
ous old clubs. On 
two occasions, the 
matches against the 
first "All Blacks " in 
1905 and against 
Paul Roos' splendid 
South African team 
in 1906, the Crystal 
Palace was selected 
as the venue, and, in 
the very early days, 
up to the season 
1878-9, international 
games were played at 
the Oval. 

Provincial centres 
honoured with these 

the only match played outside London since 
the opening of Twickenham was the Irish 
match at Leicester in 1923. The Leicester 
ground is one of the finest in England and 
four international matches have been de- 
cided there. In 1902 Ireland was defeated 
by two tries to nil on a ground covered with 
snow. The Irishmen were led by that 
prince of half-backs, Louis Magee, and those 
sterling forwards, G. T. Hamlet, A. Tedford 
and J. Ryan, were included in the pack. 
The English team was captained by J. 

Daniell, and among those who played for 
England were H. T. Gamlin, J. E. Raphael 
and S. F. Coopper, the present Secretary 
of the Rugby Union. Two years later the 
Welsh match was played on the same 
ground and ended in a draw. This was an 
exciting match and the long sequence of 
Welsh victories was at last broken. Indeed, 
England was within an ace of winning, and 
only a clever drop goal by H. B. Winfield 
saved the Welshmen from defeat. Such 
stalwarts as the late Frank Stout and V. H. 
Cartwright were among the English for- 


have rarely been 
important fixtures : 

wards ; the Welsh side contained that peer- 
less three-quarter line, E. Gwyn Nicholls, 
E. T. Morgan, R. T. Gabe and W. M. Llew- 
ellyn. In 1909 France was defeated at 
Leicester, this being the second occasion on 
which a French national team had played 
in England ; the first match took place at 

Besides Leicester, the following provincial 
grounds have been the sites of international 
matches — Manchester, Leeds, Birkenhead, 
Dewsbury, Bristol and Gloucester. The 
games in the north of England were played 
during the time when Yorkshire and Lan- 



cashire were supreme in Eugby, when the 
English team was largely composed of north- 
country players and the northern forwards, 
like Bromet, Toothill, Evershed and Yiend, 
were a power in the land. The game at Dews- 
bury was the scene of Wales' first defeat of 
England — by a try to nil. The games at 
Bristol and Gloucester, both against Wales, 
reflected the rise of west-country football, 
when, from their greater opportunity of 
studying Welsh methods, the men of Devon, 
Somerset and Gloucester were found with 
increasing frequency in the English teams. 

for thirty years Hon. Treasurer to the 
Rugby Union, the difficulties were over- 
come. From Mr. Gail's interesting ** Account 
of Thirty Years' Stewardship " in the new 
edition of "Marshall" ("Football: The 
Rugby Union Game") we learn how in 
1907-8 the land at Twickenham was 
bought and how **all liabilities were paid 
off early in 1913 — such a success had 
Twickenham turned out. Up to the end 
of 1922-3 over £29,000 had been spent 
on Twickenham ; and since then a further 
seven acres of land have been purchased 


The purchase of a national ground had 
become a matter of urgency by 1907, for, 
with the increasing popularity of the game, 
the older grounds were no longer capable of 
holding the crowds who flocked to see the 
international games. My first experience 
of an international match was the Welsh 
game in 1902, when Blackheath was filled 
to bursting point by a crowd of 30,000 
people ; the accommodation at Richmond 
was rather less. The provision of the neces- 
sary funds for this purpose was no easy 
matter, but, thanks to the energy and 
business acumen of the late William Gail, 

and many improvements made." 

It may be wondered how the Rugby 
Union has been able to accumulate funds 
sufficient for these heavy expenses, but it 
must be remembered that the profits on the 
international matches alone bring in large 
sums annually. One of the largest crowds 
ever seen at Twickenham was present when 
the All Blacks played England, early in 
1925 ; even the extra accommodation then 
available was stretched to its utmost limits 
on that occasion. The crowd which saw 
England beaten by Scotland last March 
was no less. 



The new ground at Twickenham was 
opened in January, 1910, in a most auspic- 
ious way, Wales being beaten for the first 
time since 1898. The English team was a 
fine one, including A. D. Stoop, then at his 
best ; W. R. Johnston, the best full-back 
since Gamlin's time ; R. W. Poulton ; 
J. G. G. Birkett ; F. E. Chapman, of side- 
stepping fame ; D. R. Gent, now a well- 
known writer on the game, and C. H. Pill- 
man, one of the greatest " wing " forwards 
of any age. With this match began that 
long series of successes which gave rise to 

home team was lucky to escape defeat. 
The victories of the Dominion teams at 
Twickenham were both memorable occa- 
sions. The first, when South Africa won by 
2 penalty goals and a try to a try, was a 
thrilling match. The South Africans were 
without their captain, W. A. Millar, and 
two other players of exceptional merit, 
owing to injuries, but D. F. T. Morkel's 
wonderful place-kicking turned the scale in 
their favour. The English team was a fine 
one, including W. R. Johnston at full-back, 
C. N. Lowe, R. W. Poulton, Palmer and 


the much vaunted " Twickenham Tradi- 
tion," broken only last March for the first 
time by one of the home countries. England 
was, however, beaten there on two other 
occasions before last March, but the victors 
were Dominion teams on a visit to this 
country. In addition, three of the games 
played at Twickenham have ended in a 
draw. Thus the Irish match in 1910 was 
brought to a close without any points being 
scored ; in 1925 England and Ireland each 
obtained two tries ; in 1922 England's score 
of 3 goals (2 penalty goals) was equalled by 
France with a goal and 2 tries — and the 

V. H. M. Coates at three-quarter back, 
W. J. A. Davies at half-back, and N. A. 
Wodehouse, the captain, J. A. King — the 
Yorkshire " pocket Hercules," C. H. Pill- 
man, J. E. Greenwood and L. G. Brown in 
the pack. This was Lowe's and Davies' 
first year in the English team ; both had 
come to stay ! Coates' career was brief but 
brilliant ; his handing-of! in this match will 
remain in our memories as one of the 
features of the afternoon. But perhaps 
the brightest incident of the day was a 
wonderful run by the late Ronnie Poulton, 
one of his own typical corkscrew rung 



during which he flashed like a meteor 
through most of the South African team. 

The game, played on January 3, 1925, 
when the second All Blacks brought their 
remarkable tour to a victorious end without 
the loss of a single match, is still fresh in our 
recollections. The vast crowd, as well as 
the players, was worked up to an extra- 
ordinary pitch of excitement, and followed 
every incident in that grim struggle with 
breathless interest. No one who saw that 
game will ever forget it ; in every way it 
was a memorable occasion. England put 

A few lines written by Rupert Brooke 
seem wonderfully appropriate to these 
Rugby men who " played the game " : 

*' These laid the world away ; poureS out the red 
Sweet wine of youth ; gave up the years to be 
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene, 
That men call age ; and those who would have been, 
Their sons, they gave, their immortality." 

The first ground used for international 
matches in Edinburgh was at Raeburn 
Place, originally the ground of the Edin- 
burgh Academical Club ; it is recorded that 
for the use of its ground the club was paid 


up a gallant fight, but the better team 
won, even though part of the match was 
played by them with only fourteen men. 
These are but a few of the historic en- 
counters which have taken place at Twick- 
enham ; but there is one other event no 
less striking in its impressiveness, no less 
lasting in its associations. In 1921 the King 
unveiled a memorial tablet on the side of 
the West Stand, bearing the inscription: 

In proud and grateful 

memory of 


who gave their lives in 

the Great War. 

£5 — what a contrast to these days ! Here 
the first meeting between English and 
Scottish Rugby teams took place in 1871 ; 
Scotland won by a goal and a try to a try. 
This was a fierce and thrilling struggle, a 
worthy opening to a series of matches com- 
parable with no others in their closeness, 
intensity and excitement. Even now the 
England v. Scotland match is the Day of 
Days in the English and Scottish Rugby 
Kalendars ; the first Calcutta Cup match 
is the greatest experience in the career of 
an International. I have never forgotten 
how Temple Gurdon, one of the greatest 



forwards of all time, came into the dressing- 
room at Inverleith and addressed us as we 
were waiting to file on to the field. " Boys," 
he said, " your first Scottish match is the 
hardest match you will ever play ; it is like 
no other match ; you will never forget it." 
It was quite true. 

Raeburn Place was a fine ground, with 

mention only a few, W. E. Maclagan, Don 
Wauchope, Grant Asher, the M'Ewans, 
R. G. MacMillan and C. Reid, all giants in 
their day and with few equals since their 

The new ground at Inverleith was a dis- 
tinct advance on its predecessor and was a 
significant sign of the increasing popularity 



beautiful turf and in many ways ideal for 
spectators, but it had one disadvantage — 
it was rather too narrow. Although the 
claims of Glasgow for a match were occas- 
ionally recognised, Raeburn Place continued 
to be the chief headquarters of Scottish 
international football right up to 1899, 
when the ground at Inverleith was pur- 
chased.C ) Many of Scotland's most famous 
men made their names on this ground ; to 

of the game in Scotland and the consequent 
prosperity of the Scottish Union. It was a 
pleasant homely pitch, though the accom- 
modation for spectators who wanted seats 
under cover was strictly limited, at least 
to present-day ideas. I have one grateful 
recollection of Inverleith — apart from the 
glorious games witnessed there — the Press 
Stand was enclosed by windows, a con- 
venience which many generations of Rugby 




journalists must have blessed, for wind and 
rain were not unknown at Inverleith ! 

The opening of Inverleith coincided with 
the retirement of several famous players who 
had done yeoman service for their country 
for many years, men like G. T. Campbell, 
Mark Morrison, W. M. C. M'Ewan and others. 
It also marked the appearance of a new 



brood of youngsters who were to prove 
quite capable of filling their shoes. At this 
time J. I. Gillespie was beginning his dis- 
tinguished international career, also Phipps 
Turnbull, who has had few equals as a 
centre three-quarter. The " young " 
Scottish team which won the international 
championship in 1901 was one of the finest 
ever produced by that country. Its average 
age was somewhere about 21, and it was 


full of " stars," both behind the scrummage 

and in it. In addition to Gillespie and 

Turnbull, it included W. H. Welsh, A. N. 

Fell, Mark Morrison, J. M. Dykes, A. B. 

Flett, D. K. Bedell-Sivright and A. B. 

Timms. The match with England was 

played at Blackheath in this year and ended 

in an overwhelming win for the Scots by 

3 goals and a try to a try. 

The following year this 

team, which had swept -all 

before it, was beaten in 

every match, and England 

had her revenge at Inver- 

, ^v^' \: : . leith, though only by two 

tries to one. 

During the next decade 
Scottish Rugby was at a 
high level and she won 
the championship three 
times, while the Calcutta 
Cup was north of the 
Tweed more often than 
not. During this period 
the best known Scottish 
players were K. G. Mae- 
leod, C. M. Usher, F. H. 
Turner, and J. G. Will. 
After 1910 came a rise in 
English football, which 
was continued at the ex- 
pense of Scotland after 
the War until the opening 
of Scotland's newest and 
largest ground at Murray- 
field was inaugurated by 
a welcome win for the 
home team. 

Murrayfield quite over- 
shadows all its predeces- 
sors, both in size and in 
dignity. The present Scot- 
tish headquarters is the 
most imposing to be 
found in any country. 
The one fault to be 
found with it is that, 
from the top of the Grand 
Stand at any rate, one 
gets a somewhat dwarfed view of the game ; 
one seems to be watching the struggles of 
pigmies from the clouds ! The match with 
England was the only one played on this 
site in the first year ; it was only with 
difficulty and by working at night with 
artificial light that it could be got ready in 
time. But it was worth the effort, for no 
game could have been better fitted to sig- 
nalise the occasion. It was a terrific and 



hard-fought match, in which many hard 
knocks were given and taken on both sides. 
Scotland's greatest asset was the famous 
Oxford three-quarter line, consisting of 
G. P. S. Macpherson, A. C. Wallace, G. G. 
Aitken and I. S. Smith, though H. Waddell's 
drop goal was the winning episode of the 
game. The wonderful last-minute effort 
of the Englishmen to break through their 
opponents' defence roused the spectators to 
frenzy, and failed only by inches. Since 
that day Scotland has been beaten once at 
Murray field, when Ireland just managed to 
get home by the narrow margin of a try to nil. 
Ireland has now two international grounds, 

squeeze that number into Lansdowne 
Road ; fortunately both are capable of 
expansion. If the Irish grounds are not the 
equals in accommodation of their rivals in 
England and Scotland, at least it must 
be confessed that the spectators make up 
for their lack of numbers by their noise, 
enthusiasm and sportsmanlike behaviour. 
When Ireland scores a try, you might 
almost hear the yell which greets it in 
London ! And the applause which is given 
to a fine bit of play by their opponents is 
just as warm. Among the most famous of 
Irish players who have- appeared at Lans- 
downe Road may be mentioned Louis 


Lansdowne Road, just outside Dublin, and 
Ravenhill Road, Belfast. It is with the 
former, though, that Ireland's greatest 
memories are associated ; and here most of 
the many famous Irish players have achieved 
their celebrity. The lease of this ground was 
not actually acquired by the Irish Union 
until 1906, but the wisdom of this step has 
been justified fully during the last twenty 
years. So great has been the tide of popu- 
larity which has come to Rugby in Ireland 
since the War that neither Lansdowne Road 
nor the larger ground at Belfast, opened in 
1924, will contain the crowds who will con- 
gregate there for international matches in 
the near future. Belfast will hold 30,000 
spectators, but it would not be easy to 

Magee, who led his country to the head 
of the championship in 1899, the brothers 
Ryan, Tedford, Hamlet, Basil Maclear, 
R. A. Lloyd, H. Thrift, and, of an older 
generation, C. V. Rooke, J. W. Taylor, 
J. H. O'Conor and Lucius Gwynne. 

Wales alone of the four countries has no 
national ground for Rugby. The inter- 
national matches are played at the Cardiff 
Arms Park ground, or at the St. Helen's 
ground, Swansea. A few isolated games 
have been played at Newport and Llanelly, 
but Cardiff and Swansea are the recognised 
homes of international Rugby in Wales. 
It was at Cardiff, in 1905, that the first 
" All Blacks " were beaten for the first and 
only time during their tour ; it was here 

fc.-*r. ...,- 

-^.^ S?if.:^» -Cil':,;; ^|^^ 





that the most brilliant three-quarter line 
that the world has ever known perhaps, E. 
Gwyn Nicholls, E. T. Morgan, R. T. Gabe 
and W. M. Llewellyn, was seen at its best. 
Arthur Gould, Wales' greatest son, was a 
Newport man, but he played for Wales 
on both these grounds. One memorable 
match at Swansea is known as " Jerry 
Shea's match," for this versatile player 
and clever boxer scored a try, dropped 
two goals, and also kicked a penalty goal 
against a bewildered England . side oil 
this occasion (1920). Two years later, at 
Cardiff, Wales again defeated England 

handsomely by 2 goals 6 tries to 2 tries. 
The homes of Rugby football ! What 
hopes, what struggles, what sacrifices have 
they witnessed ! One can fancy them 
thronged by a ghostly company who fight 
their battles over again, renew old friend- 
ships and, perhaps, old feuds, recapture once 
again the glorious days of their youth. At 
least, these grounds are mostly filled with 
happy memories ; one can feel them 
pressing on one to-day when these scenes 
are revisited ; they have had no small 
influence on the character of the nation and 
its fortunes. 


T ET the bitter wind 
"^ Blow where he must : 
Here in my corner 
With sup and crust, 
I will disdain him 
With laughter and singing ; 
For the joy at my heart 
Is not of the wind*s bringing. 

Let the bitter wind 

Bluster and roar : 

He will not raise the carpet 

From my naked floor; 

He will not spoil my sleeping 

Nor hasten my waking ; 

For the peace at my heart 

Is not for the wind's taking. 

Let the bitter wind 

Blow where he please : 

He will not lower my head 

Nor bend my knees ; 

He will shout ** Comrade ! " 

Ere he hasten his going; 

For the strength at my heart 

Is strong as the wind's blowing. 





ON that evening in July, when every- 
one seemed talking of Mark Stonor's 
brilliance in saving Jerome Brann 
feom iffl^sp:^Qient:for fraud, Old Burdon, 
who had"^ briefed the young 'barrister, was^ 

" But the ball is at your feet, Mark, to 
go off now for a long sea voyage — why, it's 
sheer folly." 

Mark Stonor, staring out at the lovely 
dinginess of the Temple, answered without 
turning round : 

"Oh, I don't know. The Courts will be 
up in a week or two and I'll have the whole 
of the Long Vacation before me." 

"You won't," said Old Burdon. 
" You'll have people tumbling over each 
other to secure you for the Michaelmas 
sittings. Don't you realise that you are 
on the verge of fame, that now or never is 
your chance . . . ? " 

" I know," said Mark, turning a troubled 
face to the solicitor. " But — I've got to go." 

" It's flaunting fortune," cried Old 
Burdon. " Even a man of your ability 
mustn't run away from his opportunity 
like this. There'll be work in Chambers, 
for instance ..." 

*' I'm sorry, sir," said Mark Stonor, " but 
I've told you before how it is — I just seem 
to have to go." 

Old Burdon frowned. As Mark indicated, 
this was not the first time he had gone off 
in this queer strange way. It gave him 
another line of attack. 

" Even apart from missing work," he 
said, " what are people going to think of a 
barrister, however able, who goes off when 
the whim moves him on such mad vagabond- 
age ? What possesses you, my boy ? " 

"I don't know," said Mark Stonor, 
frowning and reddening. ."I call myself a 
fool too, and yet I go. . . . I sometimes 
think it is in my blood. I think my father 
must have been a sailor, sir." 

The older man shot a quick look at the 
fine, clear-cut face. 

"I should have argued your father was 

a lawyer," he said: "your gifts suggest that 
is in your blood too." 

He seemed to be trying to find out some- 
thing as he spoke, but Mark was too con- 
ceMed with his own strange emotions to 
notice. He said slowly : 

"That, too. I seem to be the prey of 
two obsessions — the law and the sea. 
Nearly always the law is the stronger and 
seems to command my whole life. But then 
the sea begins to pull, and it is more powerful. 
It's a sort of fever, a command to go off — 
somewhere. I try to fight it, but I can't. 
It comes between me and everything. 
When I lost you the Lemoin case last year 
that was through trying to beat it under. 
I had made upmy mind- that iiiis'-going off 
was ridiculous and this time I would not go. 
But all the time I should have been fighting 
for Lemoin the tug was at me, I could think 
of nothing else — and I made a hash of that 
case." He walked to the window again, 
stared out ; Old Burdon's keen eyes watched 
him sympathetically — he knew the boy's 
history. Mark went on : "I must go . . . 
I can't explain it well, but it's as though I 
did wrong by not going. It's as though I 
shall miss something, leave something un- 
done by not going. . . . And I'm afraid 
of missing something. ..." 

" What ? " asked Old Burdon sharply. 

"I don't know ... it's only a feeling 
you know. . . . Just the queer pull to 
go out there to — something. Perhaps it's 
nothing after all; a-memoryofvmy-forfotter 
childhood, a strain inherited from my lost 
father. . . . It's absurd, it plays the deuce 
with my career — but I've got to go." 

" What does your stepfather say ? " asked 
Old Burdon. 

"Oh, he thinks I'm foolish too, but he 
has become resigned to my idiocy. . . . 
And then he— he half understajids my 
impulse. He feels that I am searching for 
my parents, and that one day I might pick 
up facts about them." 

" But you never have ? " said the old 
solicitor, watching him closely. 




" No, sir, not a thing. Perhaps I never 
shall — still, it may be the instinct to find 
out who I really am driving me on. I might 
find out something some day." 

" You might," said Old Burdon slowly, 
and he sat back and stared out of the window 
himself. Then he said in a determinedly 
light tone : " You might find something to 
make you stay down there, where you were 
found, and I should be robbed of the most 
promising junior I'd ever briefed, so, before 
you go, I think I'd better 
get as much out of you as 
possible." He pulled out a 
drawer. " You might look 
into these three cases and 
give me your opinion on 
them — oh, and here's an- 
other, an old matter, Whillon 
V. Clavell. We lost that case 
many years ago, but some 
new evidence has lately come 
to hand. Look through it 
and see if it is worth re- 

Mark Stonor left Old Bur- 
don's office genuinely sorry 
that he should seem to fail 
the great lawyer who had 
done so much for him, yet 
elated that soon he would be 
on the sea again and away 
— away down to the warm 
seas that so strangely called * i 

him. All through his life 
this queer pull had com- 
manded him and forced him to obey, all 
through his short life his career had been 
threatened with shipwreck because, at an 
impulse and at short notice, he had packed 
up, left everything and set out for those 
distant sunlit waters that called and called 
to him with a strange imperativeness. 
During boyhood this tugging at his heart- 
strings had been a meaningless torment 
until one day the man he called father, 
Koger Stonor, had explained much to him. 

He was not really Koger Stonor's son, but 
a castaway. He had been the only white 
survivor of some wreck in the South Seas. 
Eoger Stonor had been making a journey 
from Australia to California with his wife in 
the ship that effected the rescue. This ship 
had been forced out of its course by the 
storms that must have wrecked the vessel 
the child, now Mark Stonor, had sailed in. 
One day a small group of atolls had been 
sighted and would have been ignored, for 
they were charted as uninhabited, but that 

smoke was seen rising from one of them. A 
boat putting ashore found three kanakas in 
an advanced state of exhaustion, and a 
native woman who was expending the last 
remnants of her strength in the care of a 
very sickly white child, aged, perhaps, about 
three years. 

These were taken back to the ship, and 
the nurse died in the course of the next day, 
and one of the kanakas a few days later. 
The two remaining kanakas had practi- 

" ' Oh, I don't know. The Courts will be up in a 
week or two and I'll have the whole of the Long 
Vacation before me.' " 

cally nothing to say about the white child. 
They had been the deck-hands of an 
inter-island trading-schooner. They had 
been beating up towards the Constellations 
during a stiff blow when they sighted a 
cutter making very heavy weather. This 
cutter followed them into Lagoon Inlet, 
which is the only good harbour of the Con- 
stellations, and a boat came off from her. 
It brought aboard a tall, thin white man, 
an old Chinaman, his body-servant, the 
native-woman nurse and the white child 
who was very ill. This white man had 
bargained with the captain of the schooner 
to carry them quickly to a near-by port so 



that a doctor could attend to the child. 
The little cutter was too dangerous a craft 
for such weather. 

The man's price must have been good, for 
the master of the schooner put out against 
the barometer and a day later was caught 
in the bad weather which wrecked him. He, 
his mate and* the thin white man were 
drowned when the schooner went dawn in 
deep water. Four kanakas got ashore with 
the woman and Chinaman, both badly hurt, 
and the child. They had been on the island 
more than a week before being picked up, 
during which time one kanaka and later the 
old Chinaman died. 

Before she died the native nurse had been 
unable to speak and the surviving natives 

Apart from an insufficiently maternal 
stewardess, Roger Stonor's wife was the only 
woman on the rescuing ship, and she, with 
the aid of a doctor going on leave, saved the 
child's life. By the time San Francisco 
was reached he had regained his health 
and was a fine and charming boy. And 
something else had happened. He had 
endeared himself to the childless Stonors, 
to Roger quite as much as to his wife, and 
they had made up their minds to adopt him 
if possible. It proved only too possible. 
The child's parents were never found, though 
Roger Stonor, a rich solicitor, had done all 
that was humanly possible by lawyer and 
advertisement to trace them. It was, in 
time, decided that the mother and father 
must have gone down with the cutter in the 
rough weather and that the child must 
be an orphan. He was therefore given the 
name of Mark Stonor and brought up as 
the son of Roger Stonor and his wife. 

This revelation, though leaving Mark with 
a certain blank, served to explain a great 
deal. It explained what he had thought 
were his queer dreams. They had been 

• But the baU is at your feet, Mark, to go off now for a long sea voyage-why, it's sheer folly.' ' 

could tell nothing about the child, its name 
or from where it came. The woman and 
the Chinaman seemed to have been curiously 
secretive and dwelt apart with the child on 
the atoll. They had learnt that the white 
man was not the father of the child but the 
brother of the mother, but whether the 
mother and father were alive, and if so where 
they lived, had not been discovered. The 
kanakas had never before seen the cutter 
that appeared so mysteriously out of the 
sea, and the cutter had added to the mystery 
by being nameless. There was nothing on 
the baby to help identification. 

strange dreams for one who lived in cities. 
There had been ships in them and the lilt 
and swing of the sea. Some had the throb 
and the heave and the sense of stuffiness of 
a small steamer cabin, with the face of a 
woman bending over him. That was prob- 
ably Mrs. Stonor nursing him back to life 
on the small ship that rescued him. The 
vast swinging deck of a liner was undoubtedly 
that one which carried them all from America 
to England. But the other dreams had 
wanted some placing. The dream of a sniall 
kicking deck and sails that swung clattering 
above his head, of a black man snatching 



him up^in Ms arms because somehow the 
swing of that sail had meant danger to him, 
of seas coming with a flounce and a crash 
over the bows of a small ship, and his game 
at being frightened at these seas. . . . And 
half-naked brown men who had laughed with 
a great display of bright teeth at his pretence 
of fright. 

He had never been able to understand 
how the heave and rush of that small sailing- 
ship had got into his dreams before Roger- 
Sjbonor explained. Nor the wonderful 
brightness of the days through which that 
ship sailed, nor the miraculous blueness of 
the sea about h^r, nor the little fairylands of 
green islands that shyly crept by them at 
times. Only when Stonor spoke of his 
hidden past did he realise that he must have 
sailed on that , small vessel — the cutter per- 
haps, or a schooner — and sailed on it for a 
long time. 

His father, he came to think, must have 
been the master of that vessel. From amid 
his glittering dreams he disentangled a tall, 
sombre man with a beard.^ There was 
another white man, too, a tall thin one, 
undoubtedly the uncle who had been 
drowned on the inter-island schooner. And 
there had been a woman, a dear woman. 
She carried him and played with him a lot. 
She was, he felt, his real mother. And yet 
he wondered if this was but a mere con- 
fusion of memory, because in his dreams 
that woman also seemed to be bending over 
him in a stuffy ship's cabin, as well as in a 
hot, bright room of some house on land. 
Was he mixing this dear memory up with 
Mrs. Stonor, who had certainly been lovely 
and tender ? 

The house on land was by a thundering, 
blue sea. It was set against dancing green 
palms on the edge of a beach of silver. He 
remembered that sand with glamour. The 
feet slipped back in it as one walked, also it 
had a glorious hot tickling effect if let escape 
from the hands on to the bare legs. The 
whole of the memory of this place was 
exquisite, its colour, its jewel-like flowers, 
the clear, warm wonder of its sunlight, the 
vision of the small sailing-ship anchored off- 
shore and looking like a lovely toy, and 
finally the queer, single hill away to the 
right, which somehow came to his memory 
as the Witch's Hat. It was always in the 
picture, that queer, sharp hill that rose so 
abruptly out of a mat of greenery that 
seemed to make its brim— but why he called 
it the Witch's Hat he did not know. Had 
the woman made up a story about it ? 

The loveliness of this place, the thunder 
of the sea on the silver- white beach, the 
heave and dip of the sea under the small 
dancing vessel, the memory of the dear 
woman, had wrung him all during his boy- 
hood, dragged at him with a strange and 
powerful allure. Roger Stonor did not 
know of this, nor had he spoken of Mark's 
past — save from some mention of the fact 
that they had travelled in his boyhood — 
it was only when Mark, after a delicious, 
agonising spell of such dreams and longings, 
had said that on the whole he thought he 
wouldn't be a lawyer as he had planned, 
but would become a sailor, that Roger Stonor 
told him about his rescue from the atoll. 

Roger Stonor told him in the* hope of 
settling his mind. He had noted that the 
boy — he was in his middle teens then — had 
been vague, dreamy, disturbed, and his 
brilliant school-work had fallen off in con- 
sequence. When Mark spoke of his desire 
to go tp sea Roger Stonor felt he understood 
the pull of the blood. He told the story, 
emphasising the fact that the boy's father 
and mother had probably been lost at sea. 
He wanted to make Mark feel the cruelty 
of the sea, to make him hostile to it as the 
murderer of his parents. 

He \sdid not altogether succeed. The 
revelation of his early days seemed to satisfy 
the boy for a time. He passed some 
glamorous weeks dwelling on the mystery 
and wonder of his birth, and during that 
time his passion to go out on the sea spent 
its force. He went back to his work with 
the curious lucid brilliance and acuteness 
that foreshadowed a future of exceptional 

The lawyer in Roger Stonor was delighted 
to observe that all the tendencies of his 
adopted son were towards the law. By 
the time he went up to Cambridge it was 
already plain that Mark was a born lawyer, 
that indeed there might be, as Old Burdon 
had argued, something in his blood that 
gave him outstanding qualities^ in pleading. 
He swept the board at Cambridge, though 
he gave Roger Stonor a period of panic. In 
his second year he threw over all his plans 
for the Long Vacation and went off on a 
vagabondage in the South Seas. 

He didn't attempt to explain himself, he 
just said he felt he had to go. The curious 
tug had come to him again. Whether it 
had been aroused by going to a South Seas 
play then acted in town, or whether some 
inner impulse had moved him, he did not 
know, but he did abruptly become the 



victim of a vague but overwhelming desire. 
He must go down to that place where he 
had been found, feel the heave and kick of 
a small ship under him, hear the wind in 
the sails, see the wonder blue of wonder seas 
and the dancing green of palms. ... He 
must look and look for a beach of silver and 
a bright house against emerald foliage. . . . 
He must look for the Witch's Hat. . . . 
It was a pull, a reasonless pull. He felt 
that his parents were dead, that he would 
find; nothing to establish his name down 
there in the jewelled seas of the south, and 
indeed that scarcely moved him, for he was 
contented with the name he bore . . . but 
he just had to go. There was something 
down there. ... 

Eoger Stonor let him go and spent many 
anxious months. He saw all his hopes of 
Mark ruined, and the boy a wandering sailor 
among the islands. But Mark came back 
in time. He had travelled Malaysia and 
did not like it. There were too maily biting 
insects in Borneo, Java was hot, uncomfort- 
able and noisy, the other islands did not 
appeal to him. He found life on small 
steamers monotonous, and the schooners 
were cramped and sometimes dirty. Queer 
— there had been none of the glamour of 
dreams in actuality and he was glad to be 
back in town. He had learnt nothing at 
all about himself, except, as he told Roger 
Stonor, " that I definitely haven't a love 
of sailoring in me." 

He was certain of ^that. Roger Stonor, 
lately a widower and fearful that Mark 
would leave him, rejoiced. He watched 
Mark's career at Cambridge end gloriously, 
saw him brilliantlv begin his studies for the 

There was no doubt from the first that 
Mark had exceptional talents for the 
Criminal law. He was an outstanding 
student in an outstanding year. And not 
only had he great gifts, he had great luck. 
Sir Henry Burdon, a Bencher of his Inn, 
picked him out at a big dinner one night. 
During that meal Mark Stonor had noticed 
this old man staring at him with a strangely 
searching look. A companion at table had 
told him that this was Old Burdon of Burdon, 
Predell & Burdon, " One of the mandarins 
before whom we mere barristers bow," the 
man said. " If a nabob like that briefs the 
likes of us, then the future is all Rolls-Royce 
and Glory." 

Mark was fascinated by the great solicitor, 
but astounded when Old Burdon sought 
him out after dinner and demanded his 

name. Mark told it, and wondered why 
Old Burdon stared. Mark said : " I'm the 
son, or rather adopted son, of Roger Stonor, 
whom you may know, sir." 

" Adopted son," echoed Old Burdon and 
stared harder, and then began to talk of 
other things, drawing Mark out with a good 
deal of cleverness. Mark thought no more 
of this, but a week later Roger Stonor told 
him that Old Burdon had called on him, 
and shown a great interest in Mark, so great 
an interest that he foresaw a career already 
in the making for his adopted son. — 

He was justified — though Mark himself 
threatened to wreck it. Old Burdon seemed 
to make a point of being intimate with 
Roger Stonor for the sake of Mark. He 
became a friend of the family, he was 
enthusiastic about the young man's clever- 
ness, and when Mark passed to the full status 
of barrister he was ready with the first 

And Mark refused it— to go off again on 
a sea vagabondage. 

Mark knew it was folly. He knew he 
was endangering a career, he knew he had 
been disillusioned before. But he had to 
go. The strange, commanding force was 
too strong. He felt that somewhere, down 
there on the wine-coloured seas and under 
the gold of the sun was — something. He 
must go. He dare not resist. Roger 
Stonor in a panic talked to Old Burdon, 
asked him to persuade the boy and to suggest 
other holidays. Old Burdon tried, and yet 
it was Old Burdon who sent him off. He 
looked strangely at Mark for some minutes, 
then he said : " Let him go. We won't 
hold him while this is on him. And perhaps 
he ought to go." 

This time Mark wandered the islands 
from the Ladrones to the Sporades — and 
then came back. He was not so dissatisfied 
with things this time, he had seen beauty, 
if schooner sailing was still cramped and 
rather dirty. He came back because the 
pull had dwindled and gone, leaving him 
once more pure lawyer and a denizen of 
cities. On this trip he had tried to find out 
something about himself, about a trading 
captain of twenty-two years ago who sailed 
with his wife on a cutter. He tried to find 
out about an island with a hill like a witch's 
hat on it. He found nothing. 

For the next two years he steadily built 
up a career and a reputation, justifying all 
Roger Stonor's and Old Burdon's hopes of 
him. He was certainly the most promising 
junior at the Criminal Bar, and his extra- 



ordinary flair and thoroughness in defence 
suggested that the day was not far off when 
he would be wearing silk and a leader in all 
the greatest cases of the day. For two years 
he demonstrated his astonishing natural 
genius for law — then the old strange urge 
came to him once more. The command to 
be oif and wandering on the warm seas 
assaulted him in the middle of his work. 
He fought it, and in doing so turned his 
mind into a turmoil that lost him the 
Lemoin case. His reputation suffered a 
little over that, for he had already shown 
that he should win his verdict, and his 
failure startled people. Old Burdon readily 
agreed to let him go off on a holiday, for he 
thought the young man was overworked, 
and Mark had spent months in Australasian 
waters, wandering and asking questions, and 
trying to find out if there was such an 
island as that which had a hill like a witch's 

He had returned sensible again, obliter- 
ated every doubt about him the Lemoin 
business had called up in a single dazzling 
case and had stepped out on to the highway 
of Fame. For more than twelve months 
he marched along that highway with an 
assurance that was almost aweing. His 
reputation began to spread beyond the 
Courts. The great public began to realise 
that when Mark Stonor's name appeared as 
Counsel for the Defence it quite frequently 
meant that he was the Counsel who got the 
verdict. Finally, he had been briefed as 
leader in the cause celebre of the day, he